Tag Archives: controlled substance destruction

Sentry Raises Public Awareness for DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Initiative

As part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Initiative (NTBI), people will be able to dispose of expired, unwanted or unused prescription drugs on Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at numerous collection sites around the U.S.

The DEA collected a record amount of meds during the 11th annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 30, 2016.  According to the DEA’s May 6, 2016 press release, the DEA and over 4,200 of its state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners collected 893,498 pounds of unwanted medicines—about 447 tons—at almost 5,400 sites spread through all 50 states, beating its previous high of 390 tons in the spring of 2014 by 57 tons, or more than 114,000 pounds.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Initiative

The top five states with the largest collections, in order, were:

  1. Texas (almost 40 tons)
  2. California (32 tons)
  3. Wisconsin (31 tons)
  4. Illinois (24 tons)
  5. Massachusetts (24 tons)

“I am very proud of our state officials and residents,” said Ms. Jennifer Marcum, Sentry BioPharma Services’ chief executive officer.  Ms. Marcum continued, “Indiana’s authorities collected 29,125 pounds (14.6 tons).  That’s an enormous amount of unwanted prescription drugs and controlled substances to be safely removed from the pharmaceutical supply chain.  The statistics best illustrate how much the people of Indiana care about this important matter; no question about it.”

Marcum continued, “During the event, people can anonymously bring unwanted prescription pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter (OTC) medications to a participating drop-off site for proper drug disposal by law enforcement authorities with no questions asked.  The service is free and an ideal way to preserve the environment from pharmaceutical contamination.  This is a terrific opportunity to safely dispose of accumulated prescription drugs and medications that may have expired or are simply unwanted.”

The FDA’s Ilisa Bernstein, Pharm.D., J.D., offers a few more helpful tips when discarding drugs:

  1. Scratch out all identifying information on the prescription label to make it unreadable. This will help protect your identity and the privacy of your personal health information.
  2. Do not give your medicine to friends. Doctors prescribe medicines based on your specific symptoms and medical history. Something that works for you could harm another person.
  3. When in doubt about proper drug disposal, ask your pharmacist.

For more information about the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Initiative, general public inquiries can be made by calling the DEA toll free at: 1-800-882-9539.

If you would like to learn more about Sentry’s pharmaceutical drug destruction services, please contact Sentry via email or by phone at 1-866-757-7400.

DEA’s 2016 Controlled Substance Distributor Conference

Sentry BioPharma Services attended the Controlled Substance Distributor Conference, hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Office of Diversion Control, in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 10 – 11, 2016. The topics presented include prescription drug and chemical trends, ARCOS/record keeping, drug disposal and effective controls against drug diversion.

Jennifer Marcum, Sentry’s CEO, says, “Overall, the controlled substance distributors’ conference was informative with much emphasis being placed on the addiction epidemic, controlled substance trends and the emergence of illegal pain management clinics.”  Ms. Marcum continued, “The DEA is very clear about compliance with 21 CFR 1306.04(a).  The DEA wants to enable practitioners to issue prescriptions for legitimate medical purposes.  The DEA expects all members of the pharmaceutical supply chain to manufacture according to GMPs, to tightly control inventory and to maintain accurate records.”

James A. Arnold, Acting Chief Liaison & Policy Section, addressed the opioid prescription problem, the public health epidemic and the impact on society.


Between 2000 and 2014, there has been a 137% increase in unintentional deaths due to a prescription overdose.  28,647 deaths involved an opioid in 2014.  The number of deaths per year exceeds that of motor vehicle accidents.  Opioid addiction and abuse is a very serious situation in the U.S.   Heroin, an illegal highly addictive analgesic drug derived from morphine, usage and death rates skyrocketed in 2015.  However, heroin is only part of the problem.  More and more people are getting hooked on prescription painkillers, laced illicit drugs and lethal drug cocktails like the “Holy Trinity” consisting of hydrocodone, carisoprodol and alprazolam.  Heroin mixed with fentanyl creates a deadly drug combo that is 100 times more potent than morphine.  Just one-fourth of 1 mg of fentanyl is enough to be potentially fatal.  Read more about the DEA’s 2015 Drugs of Abuse Report: https://www.dea.gov/pr/multimedia-library/publications/drug_of_abuse.pdf


An opioid and prescription drug abuse epidemic is sweeping the U.S., impacting all segments of society. Opioid-related hospitalizations and infections from contaminated needles have caused the total opioid-related healthcare costs to rise significantly.  Read the DEA’s Drug Fact Sheet for the latest information on substances:  https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/factsheets.shtml


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and DEA have an effective enforcement program for arresting people and attacking the supply of the opiates.  But to reduce the demand for the drugs, the FBI and DEA are collaboratively deploying outreach programs to educate the public about what lies in wait for somebody who experiments opioids. 

To help increase awareness about this epidemic and to help educate young people on the dangers of addiction, the FBI and DEA have released the documentary Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict, a compilation of heart-wrenching first-person accounts by addicts, and family members of addicts, about their experiences.

For more information about how Sentry can meet safety and regulatory demands for pharmaceutical packaging, GMP storage, drug distribution and controlled substance disposal, contact Sentry via email or by phone at 1-866-757-7400.