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AG NEWS RELEASE: National Take-Back Initiative, Turn in your unused and/or expired medications on April 30th

Posted on Apr 11, 2016 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – The Department of the Attorney General is again partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and State Narcotics Enforcement Division, Department of Public Safety to coordinate a prescription drug take-back event on Saturday, April 30, 2016, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at various collection points on Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and in Hilo and Kona.

This will be the DEA’s 11th National Take-Back Initiative 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, and all other solid dosage forms of medication will be accepted. New or used needles and syringes will not be accepted.

“Tossing pills into the trash can be dangerous. The take-backs are a great way to safely dispose of prescription drugs without harming others or the environment,” said Attorney General Douglas Chin.

“The DEA National Prescription Take-Back events continue to receive overwhelming participation from our communities. DEA is excited to partner with our state and local counterparts in the 11th National Take-Back Initiative. This is another great opportunity for everyone to dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs,” said Howard Shu, Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge.

“The DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back events are great opportunities for anyone to dispose of unwanted prescription medication in a safe, environmentally appropriate, and accountable manner. Abuse and diversion of prescribed medication continues to rise around our state and country. Simply discarding it in the trash may cause harm to our environment. All of us have the responsibility to keep our beautiful state safe for generations to come,” said Derek Nakamura, Acting Administrator, State Department of Public Safety, Narcotics Enforcement Division. “We encourage you – our community – to join your law enforcement partners by bringing your medication to any of the collection points that will be available statewide.”

According to the DEA, thousands of Americans in communities across the country discarded more than 350 tons of unused, expired, or unwanted drugs as part of the last take-back held in the fall of 2015. “The numbers are shocking – approximately 46,000 Americans die each year from drug-related deaths. More than half of those are from heroin and prescription opioids,” said Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “With four out of five new heroin users starting with prescription medications, I know our take-back program makes a real difference.”

In Hawaii, from 2010-2015, nearly 20,000 pounds of drugs have been safely collected and disposed of at the previous ten take-back events. Nationwide, the take-backs have collected a total of 5,525,021 pounds of drugs.

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 and 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.

Unused or expired medicine should not be thrown in the trash or flushed down the toilet.

  • Proper disposal helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs entering a human water supply or potentially harming aquatic life.

For more information, please visit or

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For more information, contact:


Joshua A. Wisch

Special Assistant to the Attorney General

(808) 586-1284

[email protected]


Valerie Mariano

Branch Chief, Community and Crime Prevention Branch

Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division

(808) 586-1444

[email protected]


US Drug Enforcement Administration – Hawaii District Office

(808) 541-1930


Toni Schwartz

Public Information Officer

The Department of Public Safety

(808) 587-1358

[email protected]