This Saturday, October 27, 2018, is the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This initiative is a national effort that aims to provide consumers with safe and convenient avenues to dispose of their expired or unused prescription medications. Failure to properly dispose of medications can lead to devastating consequences, as medications can become misplaced, stolen, or misused.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day ensures that used, expired, and potentially highly addictive prescription medications such as opioids do not end up in the wrong hands. In April 2018 alone, national take back efforts were able to collect close to 474.5 tons of prescription medications.
The National Consumers League encourages consumers to clean out their medicine cabinets and participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, October 27, 2018. To find a drug take back location near you, please click here. Drug take back efforts will run from 10 am to 2 pm. To make phone inquiries, call 1-800-882-9539.
In addition to National Take Back Day, consumers can also dispose of unused and expired prescription medications in the following ways:
- Contact your local pharmacy to see if they offer programs like in-store kiosks to collect unwanted prescription drugs.
- Use a drug disposal pouch, such as the Deterra pouch, that contain solutions that nullify active ingredients in medications when mixed with water and sealed for disposal.
- Mix expired and unused drugs with cat litter or old coffee grounds, seal them in an airtight container, and throw it into the garbage.
- As a last resort, consumers can flush their medications down the toilet, but this method is generally not recommended as the ingredients in some medications can potentially corrupt community water supplies. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a list of medications approved for disposal by flushing when other safe disposal options are not readily available.
For more resources on how to safely and effectively dispose of prescription medications, please click here.