08:24 AM

Safely Dispose of Unused Drugs During National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

April 28, 2018 is Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will host National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28, allowing Valley residents to safely dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

There are more than 35 Valley drop-off locations that will be accepting prescriptions drugs on April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., locations can be found on the DEA website. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked, so be sure to rid your house of the unwanted, expired or unused medications.

If not disposed of properly, leftover prescription drugs can be misused and abused. In fact, studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. A growing epidemic, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 6.2 million people aged 12 or older report misusing prescription psychotherapeutic drugs (sedatives, stimulants, pain relievers or tranquilizers) in the past month.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) urges residents to participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. If you’re not able to make it to a drop-off location, do not 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. If you must dispose of prescription drugs on your own, follow the tips below:

  • 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.

Last fall Americans turned in 456 tons (912,000 pounds) of prescription drugs across the U.S. through National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, keeping potentially harmful drugs out of the wrong hands.