April 22, 2024

DES MOINES, Iowa - National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 27, and the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) encourages Iowans to clean out their medicine cabinets and safely dispose of unused and unneeded medications. 

Local law enforcement agencies and pharmacies are teaming up to collect leftover prescription and over-the-counter drugs for this special one-day event held each spring and fall. The fall collection, held in October, netted over 5,550 pounds of old medicine from Iowans. To date, Iowans have safely disposed of over 101 tons of unused medications at these events.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs while educating the public about the potential for dangerous misuse of opioid pain relievers and other drugs. 

"I encourage all Iowans to include their medicine cabinets in their spring-cleaning routine,” says Susie Sher, Bureau Chief of ODCP. “Properly disposing of unused medication can help prevent drug diversion, misuse, and overdose. Each of us can make a difference in this effort.”

Iowans can take excess medications to one of Iowa’s Prescription Drug Take Back locations, including nearly 400 permanent pharmacy and law enforcement center sites available on a year-round basis. For Iowa Take Back details, including education information and collection sites, visit: https://odcp.iowa.gov/programs/prescription-drug-take-backs

Saturday’s National Prescription Drug Take Back events will operate from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at designated sites across Iowa. As part of the national Prescription Drug Take Back program, the DEA also allows the collection of vaping devices and e-cigarettes from individuals if batteries are first removed from the devices. For more information or to find a site near you, visit https://www.dea.gov/takebackday

Iowans needing help for drug using behaviors or mental health concerns can go to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Service’s YourLifeIowa.org. 


The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes seven divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state, and federal government agencies and the private sector to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service, and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, Professional Development and Support Services Division, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.

Iowa Department of Public Safety

215 E. 7th St.

Des Moines, IA 50319