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DEA now accepting vaping devices and cartridges for National Prescription Take Back Day

Updated: October 19, 2019 10:31 PM

Electronic vaping devices and cartridges will now be accepted for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. 

According to the DEA, the purpose of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is to continue to remove opioids and other medicine from homes where they are vulnerable to be misused or stolen.

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For the first time, the DEA will accept vaping devices and cartridges at any of its drop-off locations during the Take Back Day. 

"This year, we are taking a step further by accepting vaping devices and cartridges as we work with our federal partners to combat this emerging public health threat to the nation's youth," said Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon.  

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said his office learned this week that drug take back day would be expanding to include e-cigarettes and vaping materials.

"Anything you find in your house that you're worried about, take it to our locations on Saturday," he said. "We don't want people getting addicted to anything, especially at a young age."

It is important to note that the DEA cannot accept devices with lithium ion batteries. If the batteries cannot be removed prior to drop-off, DEA encourages individuals to consult with stores that recycle lithium ion batteries. 

While the drug take back day typically focuses on unwanted or expired prescription medication, the sheriff said consumers should turn over any products to law enforcement if they are unsure of what do with them.

"If we can't dispose of it on sight, we'll figure it out," Hutchinson said. "I'd rather have them bring it to us than keep it at home and have a teenager or younger get sick from it or worse."

The 2019 Minnesota Student Survey, released earlier this month, pointed to an alarming rise in teen e-cigarette use. The survey showed one in four Minnesota 11th graders said they had vaped in the last 30 days.

The 18th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held across the country on Oct. 26, and the service is free and anonymous. 

The DEA has collected a total of more than 11 million pounds of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medication through its Take Back day events. Law enforcement and collection sites are partnering up for the day of the event. 

As of Oct. 15, more than 4,500 registered law enforcement partners will assist with more than 5,250 registered sites and 135 tribal locations across the country, with more being added each day.

Collection sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. 

To find a nearby collection site, click here or call 800-882-9539 

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