Pharmaceutical Take-Back Days Are Easy Ways to Dispose Safely

By Dr. Mark LeChevallier – October 20, 2016 – Comment

This Saturday, October 22nd marks National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. These successful programs, coordinated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), give the public a safe way to rid their medicine cabinets of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

More information is available here, including drop-off locations searchable by zip code: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/

I have previously written about the safety hazards associated with misguided drug disposal. Many do not think twice about the consequences of tossing pills in the trash or down the toilet. But the fact is medications that end up in landfills or waterways are dangerous and can contaminate our water. These free events are aimed at providing a safe, responsible method of disposal, which helps keep drugs out of landfills and watersheds. And by eliminating unwanted medications in this manner, prescription drug abuse and theft for this purpose can also be minimized.

To find a nearby collection site, visit www.dea.gov and click on the “Got Drugs: National Prescription Take-Back Day” banner. Medications should be kept in their original containers with labels intact.

Please do not wait until you have a headache to check for unwanted medications. I urge you to clean out your medicine cabinet and participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day to help your community, the environment, and our most precious resource – water!