April 2, 2012
By Sgt. Vaughn R. Larson
Army installations across the U.S. are supporting the Drug Enforcement Administration’s next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is an opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.
According to the DEA, Americans who participated in the DEA’s third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 29, 2011, turned in more than 377,086 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,327 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories.
When the results of the three prior Take- Back Days are combined, the DEA, and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed 995,185 pounds of medication from circulation in the past 13 months.
“The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the past three Take-Back Day events speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart.
“DEA remains hard at work to establish just such a drug disposal process, and will continue to offer take-back opportunities until the proper regulations are in place,” she said.
For exact turn-in times, locations and details, visit www.dea.gov and click on the “Got Drugs?” banner on top of the home page. This directs beneficiaries to a database where they can find convenient collection locations in their zip code area, county, city, or state.
For those unable to make it to a collection location, unused or expired medicines can be disposed of safely in the household trash by:
• Mixing them with something that will hide the medicine or make it unappealing, such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds
• Placing the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag
• Throwing the container in your household trash.
The FDA recommends flushing as a means of disposal for a limited number of medications, including Oxycontin, Demerol and Percocet, to prevent danger to people and pets in the home. Flushing these medicines will get rid of them right away and help keep your family and pets safe.
For a list of these medications, visit here.