DEA Coordinates National Take Back Initiative

Potomac River Basin Drinking Water Source Protection Partnership

The Partnership’s Emerging Contaminants Workgroup and Government Committee assisted a few locations  in the Potomac basin for both the April 2011 and September 2010 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) national take back events. These types of events support the workgroup’s goal of promoting the proper disposal of pharmaceuticals. While DEA’s focus is on preventing drug diversion and the increasing problem of pharmaceutical controlled substance abuse, it has an additional benefit of helping to maintain safe sources of drinking water by properly disposing of medicines instead of flushing them down the toilet or pouring them down the drain.

Take back locations in the Potomac River basin were mapped for the September 2010, April and October 2011, and September 2012 events.

September 25, 2010 – DEA National Take-Back Day
The Partnership worked closely with Adams County, Pennsylvania; Jefferson County, West Virginia; and the University of Maryland to organize take-back events to coincide with the larger initiative (see a map of locations in the basin as of September 22). Links to event publicity and news coverage are below.

Adams County, Pennsylvania:
Adams County TAKE-BACK: flyer; media release
Adams County Safe Disposal information: flyer
Media coverage: Gettysburg Times (September 9, 2010); Evening Sun (September 10, 2010)

Jefferson County, West Virginia:
Jefferson County Take Back: flyer

University of Maryland:
UMD Take Back: flyer

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is supporting the efforts of the DEA Take Back Initiate. Both EPA Headquarters and EPA Region 3 have assisted in making sites available within the Potomac River basin.
EPA Press Release
EPA Q&A on safe disposal of medications