National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: A safe medication disposal option

It is important to plan for the safe disposal of medications. Many states are developing prescription drug return, reuse, and recycling laws. Take a look at the information on the National Conference of State Legislatures website for your state program.

Consider taking part in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 26, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This program, brought to you twice a year (April and October) by the U.S. Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration, is an opportunity to get it right on the correct disposal of your medications. Go to the DOJ DEA website and search by zip code or city/state to find a collection site near you.

Billions of left over drugs are thrown into the trash, flushed, or consigned to medical cabinets each year. The FDA has a list of medicines that may be flushed. It is a good idea to take the time each year to go through your medicine cabinets and look at expiration dates and at medicine that you no longer need, and then be responsible as to their disposal.

If you miss National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, visit your local pharmacy to ask for their assistance with the disposal of your unneeded or unwanted medications. They may have pre-addressed envelopes to mail unwanted medications for incineration.

Alternatively, as of 2018, 38 states (plus Guam) have enacted laws for donation and re-use of drugs.

Most importantly, always handle medications with care and dispose responsibly.