Prescription-drug take-back day set for Saturday

Staff report


The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and its local law-enforcement and community partners are offering the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday the 14th opportunity in seven years to rid their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Individuals can take pills and other solid forms of medication to one of almost 5,000 collection sites manned by more than 4,000 partners nationwide.

People who want to get rid of unwanted prescription drugs can find nearby collection sites by visiting or by calling 800-882-9539. The service is free and anonymous, and no questions are asked. The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps.

“Disposing of leftover painkillers or other addictive medicines in the house is one of the best ways to prevent a member of your family from becoming a victim of the opioid epidemic,” said DEA acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson. “More people start down the path of addiction through the misuse of opioid prescription drugs than any other substance. The abuse of these prescription drugs has fueled the nation’s opioid epidemic, which has led to the largest rate of overdose deaths this country has ever seen.”

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. DEA launched its prescription-drug take-back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – posed potential safety and health hazards.

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