ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County, City of Cleveland, Shaker Heights Fire and CVS Pharmacy Join Forces to Take Back Unwanted Medications

The ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County has teamed up with the City of Cleveland, Shaker Heights Fire and CVS Pharmacy to help support the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s efforts on Drug Take Back Day, April 27, 2019.

“We know the DEA and many law enforcement and community partners host prescription drug drop off sites,” said Scott S. Osiecki, ADAMHS Board CEO. “However, not everyone can make it out with their prescriptions on that day or during the drop off hours. That’s why in addition to drug drop off sites and to ensure that as many unused prescriptions as possible get safely disposed of, the ADAMHS Board and its partners are making 5,000 Deterra Drug Deactivation and Disposal Bags available to community members.”

Deterra Bags are easy to use – dump unused or expired medications in the bag, add warm water, close shake and toss in the trash. The bags allow residents to safely dispose of unwanted medications right in their own homes. Click here to watch this video created by Cuyahoga County. The bags deactivate the medication, so there are no environmental concerns with the disposal of the bags.

Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 17th opportunity in nine years to prevent opioid/other prescription misuse and abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted medications. Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of unwanted drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked, and Deterra Bags will be available until the supply is gone.

This year Cuyahoga County residents will have two options:

  1. Bring your pills for disposal to any drop-off site (Sites cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) or CVS Pharmacy locations at:
  • 2007 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, OH 44109
  • 3728 Pearl Road, Cleveland, OH 44109
  • Cleveland Police Headquarters, 1300 Ontario Street (donated by CVS)
  • CVS Pharmacy is adding a third location in May at 840 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland

2. Pick up Deterra Drug Deactivation and Disposal Bags (work for pills, patches and liquids) from:

  • ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County, 2012 W. 25th Street, Cleveland, 44113 Open Weekdays, 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Special Hours for Deterra Bag pick up only, April 27, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Cleveland City Hall (Citizen Center), 601 Lakeside Ave., Cleveland Open Weekdays, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Any City of Cleveland Police Station or Health Center
  • Shaker Heights Fire Station 1, 17000 Chagrin Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44120

Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 460 tons (more than 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds—nearly 5,500 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Medication disposal is especially important in light of the opioid epidemic affecting Cuyahoga County. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office reported that 551 individuals died from drug overdoses in 2018, and there have been 129 deaths from overdoses so far in 2019.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, please call the 24-Hour Mental Health and Addiction Crisis and Referral Hotline at 216-623-6888 for help.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

About the City of Cleveland
The City of Cleveland is committed to improving the quality of life for its residents by strengthening neighborhoods, delivering superior services, embracing diversity and making Cleveland a desirable, safe city in which to live, work, play, and do business. For more information on the City of Cleveland, visit online at, Twitter at @cityofcleveland or Facebook at

About the ADAMHS Board The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County is responsible for the planning, funding and monitoring of public mental health and addiction treatment and recovery services delivered to the residents of Cuyahoga County. Under Ohio law, the ADAMHS Board is one of 50 Boards coordinating the public mental health and addiction treatment and recovery system in Ohio. For more information on the ADAMHS Board, visit online at, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, @ADAMHSBoardCC.