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ATG NEWS RELEASE: National Take-Back Initiative- Turn in your unused and/or expired medications on October 22, 2016

Posted on Oct 18, 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, October 22, 2016, 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 12th 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.

“This is a great opportunity to go through your medicine cabinet and safely dispose of prescription drugs this weekend. Throwing your drugs into the trash or flushing them down the toilet can be dangerous to others and the environment,” said Attorney General Douglas Chin.

“According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.5 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. That same study showed that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative provides an anonymous, safe, and responsible means of ridding your homes of unused, unwanted and expired prescription drugs,” Robin Dinlocker, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, DEA.

“Since 2010, the State Department of Public Safety, Narcotics Enforcement Division has been an avid supporter of the DEA National Prescription Take-Back Initiative, which continues to be a well-received opportunity for the public to properly discard of their expired and unwanted medications. As the abuse of medication continues to climb at a consistent pace across our state and the nation, the State of Hawaii is dedicated to protecting it’s communities from the diversion and abuse of stored, unused medications and the prevention of medications finding their way into our precious lands and water systems. We encourage our communities to join the DEA, State and local enforcement partners by bringing their unwanted medications to one of the various collection sites across the State,” said Narcotics Enforcement Division, Administrator, David Thornton.

“These take back days over the last five years (September 2010 – April 2016) were overwhelmingly successful and resulted in the collection and disposal of over 3,236 tons of pharmaceuticals” said Assistant Administrator, Diversion Control Division, DEA, Louis Milione.

According to the DEA, “The majority of prescription drug abusers report in surveys that they get their drugs from friends and family. Eight out of 10 new heroin users began by abusing prescription painkillers and moved to heroin when they could no longer obtain or afford those painkillers.”

In Hawaii, from September 2010- April 2016, over 22,300 pounds of pharmaceuticals have been safely collected and disposed of at the previous ten take-back events. Nationwide, the take-backs have collected a total of 3,200 tons of pharmaceuticals.

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.

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]