U.S. Senate Hosts First-Ever Drug Take Back Event

By: Stericycle

On April 24, 2019, the atrium in the Philip A. Hart Senate Office Building was used to collect expired and unused medications from Senate staff to join the efforts of law enforcement agencies, hospitals and local governments to provide drug take back collection events as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a semiannual event organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is this Saturday, April 27. Learn more about this event and find a collection location near you here.

With nearly 50% of people who abuse prescription drugs getting them from friends and family for free, removing leftover medications from the home and the environment is a crucial component of a comprehensive opioid crisis response strategy.

Stericycle Environmental Solutions commends Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) for introducing their bipartisan resolution to host a drug take back event for Senate staff to provide safe solutions for Senate employees to dispose of their unwanted medications, which reduces the risk of misuse and addiction in their homes and at work. It is our hope that more employers will leverage their community influence and take action in the fight against the opioid crisis by providing drug take back solutions to their employees to minimize the impacts of this devastating crisis on local communities and the workforce at large.

Opioid use disorder in the workplace is becoming a major issue for employers. Unintentional drug overdoses while at work increased 25% from 2016 to 2017. This was the fifth straight year in which unintentional workplace overdose deaths increased by at least 25%.

Additionally, nearly 70% of HR professionals surveyed said their organizations are impacted by opioid use today or will be in the future, and 65% reported that opioid addiction is having a financial impact on their company.

As Take Back Day events only happen every six months, proactive employers are turning to Stericycle’s Seal&Send Medication MailBack Envelopes to provide their employees with a solution to safely dispose of unused or expired medications at home to promote the health and well-being of their workforces year-round. The DEA-compliant envelopes are able to be distributed by any organization to the public with no DEA registration required. The envelopes are an excellent supplement to Take Back Day events and the permanent drug take back kiosks available at many hospitals, pharmacies and law enforcement agencies.

Once an individual’s unwanted medications are placed into the prepaid Seal&Send envelope, they simply place the unmarked envelope into their mailbox. It is then shipped back to Stericycle for incineration via a process that is secure and safe for the environment.

To learn more about Stericycle’s award-winning suite of drug take back solutions, click here.