14:55 PM

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

On Saturday, Oct. 22, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will host Prescription Drug Take Back Day, allowing Valley residents to prevent pill abuse and theft by safely disposing of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Leftover prescription drugs can be harmful in a variety of ways. In addition to being a threat to water resources when disposed of improperly, these unneeded drugs can be abused. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Partnership for a Drug Free America estimates that every day, about 2,500 teens get high for the first time using prescription drugs.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) urges residents to participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and shares tips on how to safely dispose of medicines if you’re unable to make a drop-off.

How to Properly Dispose of Unneeded Medicine:


• Hide drugs in a bag with something unsavory, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter, if you’re going to throw them away in the garbage. This prevents drug-seekers from finding and abusing the medication.

• Check with your local pharmacy, as many have drug disposal programs offering a container that can be dropped off or mailed in to a proper disposal location.


• Put any medications down the sink or flush them down the toilet. Disposing of drugs this way creates a hazard as it mixes with community water resources.

• Don’t hold onto expired drugs, even if you think you’ll need them one day. Expired prescriptions will not have the same medical effect on your body and can cause you to become ill.

There are more than 35 Valley drop-off locations that will be accepting prescriptions drugs on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., locations can be found on the DEA Diversion website. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked, so clean out those cabinets and rid your house of the unwanted, expired or unused medications.