PROVIDENCE, RI - As communities across the country struggle with prescription drug abuse and opioid addiction, U.S. Senator Jack Reed is encouraging Rhode Islanders to take advantage of the upcoming National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, October 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and discard unwanted pain killers and other prescription drugs at participating local police stations.  Over 30 Rhode Island locations are participating in this semi-annual event, which was started by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2010 to help educate the public about the potential for prescription drug abuse and provide an opportunity for safe disposal of expired, unused, or unwanted medications, including narcotic painkillers and other opioids.

The drop box service is free and anonymous, with no personal information collected and no questions asked.  A list of participating law enforcement and community partners across the state may be found at:

“National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is an effective public health and public safety program that makes it more convenient for people to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs.  Getting these drugs out of medicine cabinets reduces the number of medications being misused or stolen.  Additionally, the program helps stop dangerous chemicals and pharmaceuticals from getting into our water supply,” said Senator Reed, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the DEA.

At the last National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in April, Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills.

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs.  Many people who abuse prescription drugs, particularly young people, get them from family and friends.  The Office of National Drug Control Policy reports that about 70 percent of new abusers of pain relievers obtained their ‎pills from a friend or relative, often without that person knowing it.  

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also offers a free Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator (a confidential and anonymous source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States) to find resources in your area:

Drop off locations on Saturday, October 28 will include: