How To Safely Dispose Of Medications On Drug Take Back Day

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was created to bring awareness to the dangers of prescription drug abuse. People may bring their unused prescription medications to a safe drop-off location.

April 22nd, 2023 is dedicated to the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in the United States.

This day is intended to provide a safe and convenient way for the general public to dispose of unused or unwanted prescription drugs that may be abused.

Police departments, pharmacies, hospitals, and other locations are used as easily accessible disposal locations.

It is also used as a day to educate the public on the dangers of substance abuse and the risks that many medications in your home medicine cabinet can carry.

Why Was National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Started?

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was started in 2010 by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as an attempt to reduce the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs.

Surveys conducted across the country showed that many people who abused prescription drugs were able to access the drugs from a friend or family member.

This was especially true in teens aged 14 to 18 who were able to get the medication from their parent’s medicine cabinet.

The goal of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is to reduce the number of unused medicines, and to offer a safe disposal option that the public can use.

Appropriate Medication Disposal

Proper disposal of both prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications is important to the overall health of our environment and communities.

The safest way to dispose of unwanted prescriptions is to drop them off at a participating collection site. Many of these sites take back medications year-round, and not just on April 30th.

Reducing Overdose Deaths

The primary goal of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is to reduce the overall accessibility to prescription medications and therefore reduce overdose deaths as a whole.

This effort has been driven by the opioid crisis that has impacted Americans since 1999. Opioid overdose accounts for the majority of overdose deaths in the country.

Drug take-back events like this help local law enforcement to talk about drug overdoses and how prescription drug abuse can affect teens and other family members.

What Types Of Prescription Medications Are Accepted At Collection Sites?

Almost all types of prescription medications are accepted at collection sites. This can also include over-the-counter medications.

The most common types of prescription medications that are dropped off include:

  • opioids
  • benzodiazepines
  • antidepressants
  • nasal decongestants

Most drop-off locations also include other healthcare products, like topical creams, eye drops, needles, and other sharp objects.

How Can I Find A Collection Site Or Drop-Off Location Near Me?

Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have maps on their websites that make it easy to find a drop-off location.

CVS has also partnered with Google Maps to create an interactive map that will point out a drop-off site near you. This service is available any time of the year.

Can I Just Dispose Of Medication At Home?

It is not appropriate to use home disposal for getting rid of unwanted medications. Some home disposal methods include flushing drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage.

These methods can contaminate drinking water and make the drugs more accessible to others as it is difficult to determine where the drugs go after throwing them away.

Some medications are on a “flush list,” meaning you can flush them at home. However, the safest option is always to bring your medications to a dedicated drop-off site.

Can I Get In Trouble For Dropping-Off Unused Prescriptions?

Nearly all drop-off locations offer an anonymous dropbox for disposal or are protected by Good Samaritan laws.

This means that you cannot get in trouble for dropping off medication, even if it was not prescribed for you or if you have been abusing the medication.

How Can I Get Help For An Addiction To Prescription Medications?

If you or a loved one is dealing with addiction to opioids or other prescription medications, National Drug Take Back Day is a great time to start seeking recovery.

You don’t have to do it alone. Spring Hill Recovery Center is here to assist you every step of the way.

Spring Hill offers a full-body approach to addiction treatment. From intensive inpatient residential programs to flexible outpatient programs, there is an option to fit your needs.

Give us a call today and start your journey to recovery.

  1. CVS — Partnering with Google Maps to Promote Safe Medication Disposal
  2. Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy — Drug Disposal,9429,7-135-3312_4118_74618---,00.html
  3. US Drug Enforcement Administration — National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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