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National Take-Back Day: Dispose of Unused Prescription Drugs

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Take advantage of the opportunity to dispose of your unused and expired prescription medication by participating in The National Take-Back Day Initiative sponsored by the U.S Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). On April 27th, the DEA will sponsor an event where individuals are encouraged to find their nearest participating location and bring in their unused or expired prescription medications to be properly disposed.  The DEA will collect all of these prescription drugs and safely dispose of them for no charge, with no questions asked.  This is a great chance to avoid any dangers from using expired medications as well as alleviating the potential for someone taking them recreationally and becoming very sick.  This will also help free up some space in the medicine cabinet and should fit into everyone’s spring cleaning schedule.

The Dangers of Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs, especially prescription pain medications, have the potential to be extremely dangerous, or even deadly if taken improperly.  The majority of teens who get addicted to prescription drugs start by getting them from a family members medicine cabinet.   According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22,134 people died from pharmaceutical drug overdose in 2010, and it’s likely that number has increased in the last few years.

National Take-Back Day: Can’t I Just Throw These Away Myself?

The dangers with prescription drugs extend beyond just individuals who purposely abuse them.  Disposing unused or expired prescriptions by throwing them in the trash or flushing them down the toilet, can have a negative impact on the environment.  Trace amounts of sedatives been found in water supplies in the past, due to groundwater contamination from improperly disposed medications.  The DEA will ensure that these drugs are disposed of safely without contaminating the environment, all free of charge for anyone who participates in the take-back initiative.

How Do I Dispose of My Unwanted Prescription Drugs?

The U.S DEA has coordinated with local law enforcement agencies around the country to sponsor a nationwide take-back day.  You can find local participating law enforcement offices and pharmacies by checking the secure DEA Office of Diversion Control site here.  By entering your zip code or city, you will be given a list of all the nearest sponsored locations that are collecting on April 27, 2013 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

What If I Have Illegally Obtained Prescription Drugs?

There will be no questions asked, should you choose to turn in any of your unwanted prescription drugs.  That rule even extends to Schedule I drugs such as oxycodone and codeine.  If you bring in the substances in pill bottles, the local office in charge of taking back the drugs will scribble out the name on the prescription with a black marker and keep your identity anonymous. This is a great opportunity to do some spring cleaning and clear out some space in the medicine cabinet by safely disposing of any old or unwanted prescriptions.  You could be saving a family member from accidentally taking an expired prescription, or even using the drugs recreationally and becoming very sick.  If you know someone who is addicted to prescription drugs please contact The Watershed and talk to one of our professionals in the call center (800) 861-1786.


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