Got drugs? Dispose of them next week using the National Take-Back initiative

Posted on April 20, 2014


Got drugs laying around the house that you have no use for? Do you wonder what to do with prescription medications that have been left behind by deceased family members? Are you spring cleaning your cabinets and getting rid of expired medications? Are you worried about friends and family members abusing your old medications?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is organizing an environmentally responsible and secure way to dispose of your medications – the 8th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health; in the US alone, people abuse prescription medications even more than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants (sniffed household products) combined. Several prescription drugs that sit idle in medicine cabinets are often at the risk of being diverted, abused or misused. Studies also show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

Furthermore, patients, caregivers, and pet owners have not been provided with a consistent way to dispose of unwanted medications such as painkillers, sedatives, tranquilizers, and stimulants like ADHD drugs. People have been discouraged from flushing their old prescriptions drugs down the toilet because in recent years medicines have been found in the nation’s water supplies. Throwing them in the trash also meant they could be retrieved by those who would abuse or sell them. Nowadays, the FDA advises patients to grind their unwanted medications up into a powder and mix them in with either used coffee grounds or cat litter before throwing them in the trash, so they cannot be retrieved for diversion. Click here for more drug disposal suggestions.

The “Take-Back” initiative aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. Last year, U.S citizens turned in approximately 647,211 pounds (324 tons) of expired and unwanted medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,683 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. This year is expected to be even bigger, so you have a week to gather up all your medications.

Details of the program below:

The 8th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

WHEN: Saturday, April 26th, 2014

TIME: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

WHERE: Click here for collection sites (Check back often; sites are added daily)

Inquiries can also be made at 1-800-882-9539