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Community Encouraged to Participate in National Drug Take-Back Initiative

April 24, 2022, 10:00 AM HST
* Updated April 21, 11:13 AM
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National Drug Take-Back Day is approaching and authorities are encouraging residents to gather up their unused or expired medications for safe, anonymous disposal.

The collection will take place on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The National Take-Back Initiative began as a way for potentially dangerous medications to be properly disposed of in order to help keep our ohana as well as our environment safe,” stated Mike Short, Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Honolulu District Office.

Short asked the community to join the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and its local partners in getting rid of unneeded or expired medications.

“Proper disposal of unwanted medications in the home reduces the possibility that those medications will cause harm to others or the environment. The Department of Public Safety joins with the DEA and its other partners in urging everyone to turn in their unwanted medications at the different take-back locations on April 30, 2022,” said Narcotics Enforcement Division Administrator Jared Redulla.

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Most of the NTBI locations will be conducted as drive-thrus, for ease and convenience for the public. You do not need to remove the labels or take the pills out of its containers. Simply toss them in a disposable bag and drop them off at the drive-thru locations. This service is free and anonymous – no questions asked. Tablets, capsules, liquids, and other forms of medication will be accepted.

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The event is put on in collaboration with Safety’s Narcotics Enforcement Division, or NED, in partnership with the DEA and other law enforcement agencies.

There will be two collection sites on the Big Island in Kona and Hilo:

  • Hawaiʻi Police Departmentʻs Kona station lobby, located at 74-611 Hale Makai Place.
  • Ka Waena Lapaʻau Medical Complex – upper parking, located at 670 Ponahawai St., in Hilo

Since 2010, the public’s participation in NTBI has resulted in the collection and disposal of over 56,000 pounds of unused/expired prescription medications in Hawaiʻi.

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Syringes will not be accepted. Vaping devices with batteries removed will be accepted.

“Common causes of prescription drug misuse and overdose are children finding and ingesting medication not meant for them, users experimenting with medications that are readily available in the home, and the belief that prescription drugs are less dangerous than illicit drugs,” said Hawaiʻi Attorney General Holly T. Shikada. “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day provides an opportunity to prevent accidental drug misuse and overdose.”

For a list of designated collection sites, visit ag.hawaii.gov or takebackday.dea.gov. If you are unable to participate in the National Take-Back Initiative, a list of drug take-back drop box locations is available at hawaiiopioid.org.

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