State Agencies Partner for ‘Take-Back Initiative’

The Department of the Attorney General is again partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration  and State Narcotics Enforcement Division, Department of Public Safety to coordinate a prescription drug take-back event on Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following Big Island locations:

  • Drug Enforcement Administration – Ka Waena Lapa`au Medical Complex Upper (670 Komohana Street, Hilo)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration – HPD Kona Police Station Parking Lot (74-0611 Hale Makai Place, Kona)

This will be the DEA’s 13th 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.

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.

“The Take Back Initiative provides a safe and friendly way to dispose of drugs you did not use. As you do your spring cleaning, take advantage of this opportunity,” said Attorney General Douglas Chin.

“Prescription drug abuse in Hawaii continues to be a concern and DEA is pleased to be working once again with the community as well as our state local partners to support the National Take Back Initiative,” 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 NED Administrator, Jared Redulla.

In Hawaii, from September 2010 through October 2016, over 24,500 pounds of pharmaceuticals have been safely collected and disposed of at the previous twelve take-back events. Nationwide, the take-backs have collected a total of 3,601 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.