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PHMSA Special Permits: Key Resource in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Program

The Office of Hazardous Materials Safety Approvals and Permits Division (OHMSAPD) collaborated recently with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as US government agencies unified to support communities in their efforts to collect prescription drugs for proper disposal. DOT-Special Permit 20255 allows a grantee to maintain on-site receptacles for collecting prescription drugs as part of the take-back program. PHMSA’s special permit supports DEA’s efforts to ensure the public remain safe and free from unnecessary controlled substances, including anabolic steroids and opiates.

PHMSA has issued party status to DOT-SP 20255 to more than 100 entities. A press release from DEA helps understand its impact. It noted that on the October 2017 (the 14th Prescription Drug Take Back Day), “Americans nationwide did their part to reduce the opioid crisis by bringing the DEA and its more than 4,200 local and tribal law enforcement partners a record-setting 912,305 pounds – 456 tons – of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal. That is nearly six tons more than was collected at last spring’s event. This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 9,015,668 pounds, or 4,508 tons.”

In addition, DOT has been instrumental in the implementation of the DEA’s Disposal of Controlled Substances regulations in which police departments, hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, and other authorized collectors are successfully utilizing DOT-SP 20255 to better serve communities by facilitating proper collection of controlled substances, and OHMSAPD is proudly playing its part on that endeavor.

More information about PHMSA’s special permits for hazardous materials, including details about their use and how to obtain one, is available on the Hazardous Materials Approvals and Permits pages.

Updated: Wednesday, December 6, 2017