National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – Saturday, April 22 is the next Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is an opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs. South Dakotans have been strong participants in the past and are encouraged to take part again.

Unwanted medications can be disposed of without question in a secure medication drop box at participating locations like pharmacies and police stations.

“Participating in the Take-Back Day event is a very tangible way we can combat the dangerous issue of prescription medications being used inappropriately,” said DSS Cabinet Secretary Matt Althoff. “Thank you to all those who have participated in the past. We encourage anyone who might have medications that are no longer needed to place Take-Back Day on their calendar as a reminder of this important opportunity to safely dispose of their unused or expired prescription drugs.”

National Take-Back Day is held twice annually in October and April. The Fall event was extremely successful in South Dakota with 994 pounds of medication collected for destruction through participating law enforcement locations. From the inception of the program in October 2017 through February 2023, 37,836 pounds of unwanted medications have been collected in South Dakota. 

For those unable to physically take their unused medications to a drop off site, DisposeRx packets are available for free from DSS and can be mailed directly to you. DisposeRx packets contain an FDA-approved ingredient that, when mixed with water, chemically and physically neutralizes the medication and renders it safe for disposal at home. The packets work with pills, tablets, capsules, liquids, and powders.

To find the closest take-back locations or to order DisposeRx packets, please visit

DSS is also offering free medication lock boxes to help safely store medications. They can be ordered at

According to the 2021 Nation Survey on Drug Use and Health, among the 9.2 million people that misused opioids in the past year, 8.7 million were misusing prescription pain relievers. With the increasing danger of fake pills and fentanyl laced pills, keeping any pills off the street, and off the illegal market, takes on added importance. If you come across pills or medication in a public place like a park or parking lot, do not touch them or pick them up. Call law enforcement and they will safely dispose of the item(s).

The South Dakota Department of Social Services is dedicated to strengthening families to foster health, well being, and independence. For more information, please visit