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Senate passes Kennedy’s DUMP Opioids Act ahead of Take Back Day

WASHINGTON – The Senate today passed Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) Dispose Unused Medications and Prescription Opioids (DUMP Opioids) Act, which would streamline the disposal of unused controlled substance prescription medications at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers.

Sens. John Tester (D-Mont.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) co-sponsored the legislation.

“Many opioid users rely on unused prescription medications that belong to family and friends, and Americans can help fight opioid addiction simply by clearing out their medicine cabinets. We can reduce access to addictive and dangerous substances by making it easy for every American to get rid of unused medicine at drop boxes that sit on VA medical centers. The DUMP Opioids Act is a smart way to save lives, and you don’t have to wait until Take Back Day,” said Kennedy.

Almost 50,000 Americans died from opioid-involved overdoses in 2019.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 20th Take Back Day is scheduled for April 24, 2021. On Take Back Day, individuals can dispose of unused prescription medication at DEA drop sites.

Beginning in 2022, certain VA medical centers will be approved to have drop boxes that veterans can use every day to drop off unused medications, and the DUMP Opioids Act would allow everyone in a community to use these drop boxes for medicine disposal.  The bill instructs the VA Secretary to designate times that the public can dispose of prescriptions at the drop boxes and allows the secretary to carry out public information campaigns to highlight those times.

Text of the DUMP Opioids Act is available here.