News Release - Iowans Dispose of Record Amounts of Unused Prescription Drugs

For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, May 4, 2017

Susie Sher

Iowans Dispose of Record Amounts of Unused Prescription Drugs

DES MOINES – Last Saturday’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was a record-breaker, as Iowans safely disposed of 11,710 pounds of unneeded medicine at more than 100 collection sites in communities throughout the State.

“A giant ‘thank you’ goes out to thousands of Iowans for stepping up and taking action to help prevent opioid and other prescription drug abuse, and protect the environment,” said Steve Lukan, Director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy.  “Last weekend’s one-day collection of nearly six tons of pills and other leftover medications is the tip of the iceberg, and is a vivid reminder of a lot more work needed in several areas.”

Studies show the vast majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from friends or family members.  The Take Back initiative aims to reduce the amount of prescription drugs available to cause harm or death through misuse, or by flushing and contaminating the water supply.

Last Saturday marked the 13th semiannual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and the 11,710 pounds of medicines gathered in Iowa was over a ton more than the previous record amount of 9,335 pounds collected a year ago.  Adding the haul for all 13 one-day events, Iowans have disposed of a grand total of 44.8 tons of medicine.  Total numbers for the entire United States are still being tabulated by the DEA.

For those who missed out on last weekend’s special collections, permanent Iowa Take Back receptacles are now available on a year-round basis at nearly 150 local law enforcement and pharmacy locations statewide.  To find a permanent Take Back site near you, go to


Printed from the Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy website on May 21, 2018 at 9:03pm.