Attorney General News Release: Hawaii AG Announces National Take Back Initiative October 26, 2019

Posted on Oct 22, 2019 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – The Department of the Attorney General and Department of Public Safety Narcotics Enforcement Division, in partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), along with other law enforcement agencies are coordinating a prescription drug take-back event on Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., at various collection points on Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Hilo, and Kona.

This will be the DEA’s 17th National Take-Back Initiative (NTBI), now in its 10th year for the State of Hawaii.  Anyone with expired or unused prescription medications is encouraged to bring their medications to the collection sites.  A list of designated collection sites is attached, or you can visit or to learn more.

This service is free and anonymous – no questions asked.  Tablets, capsules, liquids, and other forms of medication will be accepted.  New or used syringes will not be accepted.

“Prescription drug misuse is a serious concern in our community, and this initiative provides a way for the public to help law enforcement combat the problem.  For this reason, the Department of the Attorney General is pleased to partner with the DEA; the Department of Public Safety, Narcotics Enforcement Division; and other law enforcement agencies to safely and anonymously dispose of prescription drugs. It is through partnerships like these that we can work together to keep our communities safe,” said Attorney General Clare Connors.

“Please join us in ridding our communities of unwanted or unneeded prescription drugs.  DEA’s National Take Back Day is another step in the right direction in making Hawaii a safer and healthier environment for all of our families,” said John Callery, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, U.S. DEA, Honolulu District Office.

“The DEA’s National Take Back Initiative is an extremely convenient way to get rid of unwanted and unnecessary medications in your home.  Last year, there were about 1.4 million prescriptions for controlled substances that were dispensed in Hawaii.  Consequently, the Department of Public Safety encourages everyone to do the right thing and dispose of medications that are no longer needed,” said NED Administrator, Jared Redulla.

“The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue.  According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs.  The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet,” says the DEA.

In Hawaii, from September 2010 – April 27, 2019, DEA – District of Hawaii Office collected nearly 52,700 pounds of pharmaceuticals.  Nationwide, in April 2019, 6,258 sites across the nation collected and destroyed close to one million pounds – nearly 470 tons – of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescriptions drugs.

In Hawaii and through a partnership with the Department of Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division, the Hawaii Opioid Initiative works with pharmacists, law enforcement and first responders, provider groups, service providing agencies, medical advisors, treatment advisors, prevention practitioners, prescribers, data advisors, and others to develop the Hawaii Opioid Initiative Plan.  You can get information on the plan at:

Unused or expired medicine should be disposed of properly when it is no longer needed for the illness 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 type; 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.

For more information, please visit or

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For more information, contact:

Krishna F. Jayaram

Special Assistant to the Attorney General

(808) 586-1284

Email: [email protected]


Twitter: @ATGHIgov


Valerie Mariano

Branch Chief, Community and Crime Prevention

Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division

Department of the Attorney General

(808) 586-1444 – Office

(808) 285-1927 – Mobile

Email: [email protected]


U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration – Hawaii District Office

(808) 541-1930



Toni Schwartz

Public Information Officer

The Department of Public Safety

(808) 587-1358

Email: [email protected]



Anna Koethe

Public Health Information Coordinator

Department of Health

(808) 586-4434

Email:  [email protected]