HARRISBURG, Pa. (ErieNewsNow) - Each year, the DEA sponsors National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. There are two each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Lawmakers and law enforcement are encouraging residents to take part by properly disposing unused or unwanted medications tomorrow.

In 2022, Pennsylvania State Police collected nearly 800 pounds of unused or unwanted drugs through the program. DEA regulations allow for the disposal of over-the-counter medications, prescriptions, vitamins, pet medicines, and more. 

Some things cannot be accepted at take back boxes, such as, alcohol and illicit drugs, hydrogen peroxide, nor compressed aerosols like asthma inhalers. 

Before drop-off, medications should be contained inside their original bottle or placed inside a small sealed container (i.e. plastic bottle) or zip-lock bag. 

Each take back location has the right to determine what items they will accept in their box. The following items are allowed to be dropped off, per DEA regulations:

  • Over-the-counter medications 
  • Prescription medications 
  • Prescription patches 
  • Prescription ointments 
  • Vitamins 
  • Pet medicines 

The following items cannot be dropped off: 

  • Hydrogen peroxide 
  • Compressed cylinders or aerosols (e.g., asthma inhalers) 
  • Iodine-containing medications 
  • Thermometers 
  • Alcohol & illicit drugs (i.e. marijuana, heroin, LSD, etc.) 

State lawmakers, like Senator Gene Yaw (R-23), are also encouraging residents to participate. 

“Take-Back Day is an excellent way to reduce drug abuse and misuse across the board,” said Sen. Yaw.  “It’s not only about preventing people from stealing or abusing prescription drugs, but it’s also about preventing accidental use and overdose, especially by our senior population, and ensuring that unused drugs are disposed of in an environmentally safe manner,” he added.