Back Trainings


We offer a broad range of trainings that support the long-term behavioral health and wellbeing of all New Mexicans. Together we can make things better.
Back Research & Publications

Research & Publications

Back Advocacy


Back About CHI-PHI


As New Mexico's public health institute we believe in – and deeply value – the power of community in creating wellbeing, resilience, diversity, inclusivity and equity. About CHI-PHI
Back Partner with us

Partner with us

Home » Uncategorized » Drug Take Back Day to be held at 10 sites in Doña Ana County

Drug Take Back Day to be held at 10 sites in Doña Ana County


This article is from the UP! Coalition’s bi-weekly prevention column in the Las Cruces Sun-News.

LAS CRUCES – This weekend, local police departments and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 20th opportunity in 10 years to clean out their medicine cabinets to prevent medication misuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous and expired or unused prescription drugs.

National Drug Take Back Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at 10 sites within Doña Ana County:

  • Branigan Library, 200 Picacho Ave., Las Cruces, Drug Enforcement Agency
  • City of Anthony Municipal Building, 820 NM 478, Anthony, Anthony Police Department
  • CVS Pharmacy, 940 S. Main St., Las Cruces, Las Cruces Police Department
  • CVS Pharmacy, 3011 N. Main St., Las Cruces, Las Cruces Police Department
  • Doña Ana Fire Station, 601 E. Doña Ana School Road, Doña Ana, Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office
  • Hatch Police Department, 5 Chile Capitol Lane, Hatch, Hatch Police Department
  • Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 University Ave., Las Cruces Police Department
  • Mesilla Town Hall, 2231 Avenida de Mesilla, Mesilla, Mesilla Marshal’s Department
  • Mesquite Volunteer Fire Department, 1 Firehouse Road, Mesquite, Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office
  • Stires Supermarket, 304 McCombs Road, Chaparral, Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

All medications (tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs) will be accepted. Liquids, intravenous solutions, injectables, illegal drugs and syringes due to potential hazards posed by blood-borne pathogens, will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop off locations provided lithium batteries are removed.

Medications can remain in their original containers and labels do not need to be removed (however, it is encouraged). Medications, not in their original containers will be accepted as well

This public service will be drive-through and socially distanced, like last October’s Take Back Day, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please wear a mask. All locations are free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last October, Take Back Day collected more than 985,392 pounds of prescription drugs at 4,587 sites across the United States, with 753 pounds collected from Doña Ana County.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse. Simple steps, like safely disposing of medications is a great step forward to substance access prevention.

As of June 2020, 13% of Americans reported starting or increasing substance use as a stress coping mechanism related to COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the American Medical Association announced that more than 40 states had reported increases in opioid-overdose mortality. A National Institutes of Health-funded study found that people with substance-use disorders are more susceptible to COVID-19 and its complications.

In Doña Ana County, almost 19 percent of high school students reported taking a prescription painkiller without a prescription on the most recent Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, a self-reported survey on youth behaviors.
Year after year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that most misused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends. This includes someone else’s medication being stolen from home medicine cabinets.

Properly disposing of unused or expired medication from homes keeps the community safe, especially youth, from substance misuse.

In the DEA’s original article, they state the following, “‘The latest overdose numbers are very concerning,’ said Kyle W. Williamson, special agent in charge of the DEA’s El Paso Division. ‘We must work together to address this health crisis, and that is why DEA will once again have numerous Take Back locations throughout El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico. When the public brings us their unwanted medications for proper disposal, they are helping us make our communities safer and healthier.’”

Safely disposing of medications during Take Back Day also means keeping our community environmentally safe by keeping prescriptions out of the water supply and landfill.

Participating in these take-back events is one step that individuals can do to positively impact the opioid crisis and protect their loved ones.

“National Drug Take Back Day is such an important event for our community. Safely disposing of unused or expired medications from homes helps prevent the misuse of potentially dangerous medication. Take Back Day helps prevent potential risks that may lead to substance misuse in our community and our youth,” said Michelle Rincon, program specialist with the Unified Prevention (UP!) Coalition of Doña Ana County.

“Other safeguarding steps our community members can take to protect the health and safety of their families and children include not sharing medications and locking all medications,” further advised Rincon.

For information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about October’s upcoming Drug Take Back Day event, go to or contact Rincon at 575-597-0042 or

The Unified Prevention (UP!) Coalition of Doña Ana County is a program of the Center for Health Innovation, and funded by the New Mexico Office of Substance Abuse Prevention.