AG News Release: 21st National Take Back Initiative Accepting Unwanted Prescription Medication

Posted on Oct 7, 2021 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The Department of the Attorney General and Department of Public Safety’s Narcotics Enforcement Division (NED), in partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and other law enforcement agencies are coordinating a prescription drug take-back event at various collection points on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Island in Hilo, and Kona.  The event is scheduled:

Saturday, October 23, 2021

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

This will be the DEA’s 21st National Take-Back Initiative (NTBI).  Hawaii, now in its 12th year, has collected over 53,000 pounds of prescription medications.

The NTBI locations will be conducted as drive-thrus, to adhere to state and county emergency proclamation requirements.  Everyone is encouraged to bring their expired or unused prescription medications to collection sites. 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. Please do not include any syringes, they will not be accepted.

“Please join us on DEA’s National Take Back Day to ensure the proper disposal of any unused prescription drugs.  These drugs too often find their way into the wrong hands, which is dangerous and often tragic,” said DEA Honolulu District Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Leslie Tomaich.

“To curb the national and local opioid epidemic, we are pleased to continue our partnership with DEA and NED,” said Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors. “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day not only helps keep Hawaii’s children safe from accidental poisoning and abuse, it keeps our communities healthy by providing a way to prevent these drugs from entering the environment.” “The DEA’s National Takeback Initiative is a safe, convenient way for the public to get rid of unwanted medications.  The Department of Public Safety urges everyone to take advantage of this free community service, said Narcotics Enforcement Division, Administrator Jared Redulla.”

Unused or expired medicine should be properly disposed of when no longer needed for which it was prescribed.

 Medicines may lose their effectiveness after the expiration date.

 Improper use of prescription drugs can be as dangerous as illegal drug use.

 Having unused or expired medicine in your home increases the risk of accidental poisoning. Homes where children or the elderly live are especially vulnerable to this danger.

 People may mistake one type of medicine for another; or children may mistake medicine for candy.

Expired medicine should not be thrown in the trash or flushed down the toilet. Proper disposal helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs entering the human water supply or potentially harming aquatic life. Additional information can be found at

For a list of designated collection sites, visit or

If you are unable to participate in the National Take Back Initiative, a list of drug take back drop box locations is available at


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