April 26 National Prescription Take-Back Day
Experts used to tell us to flush our unneeded and out-of-date prescription medications down the toilet. Although we've known for some time this is not a safe option because it puts those drugs into the water supply, other than putting them in the trash, which can also be dangerous, it's hard to know what in the world to do with them.
Luckily, a couple times a year the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) coordinates a National Prescription Take-Back Day. Local law enforcement agencies host events in their communities all across the country. This year's event is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, 2014, from 10 am - 2 pm.
Important things to know:
- Search for a collection site near you at this link: 8th National Prescription Take Back Day.
- There is no cost associated with participating.
- Law enforcement will not ask for or collect any information from you.
- The medications need not be prescribed to you for you to leave them at the collection site. For instance, if you want to take a family member's unneeded medications with your own, you may.
- New collection sites will be added to the list until right before the date. So even if you don't find a site near you when you first search, please continue to check back.
- If you have any questions, you can call 1-800-882-9539 for help.
- If you happen to be affiliated with a law enforcement agency and would like to host a collection site, visit the website to learn more: National Take-Back Initiative Points of Contact.
Interestingly, the Food & Drug Administration still recommends flushing a number of medications despite what we know about the hazards of this practice. The Environmental Protection Agency has been publicly discussing the problems with flushing medications since at least 2007. It would be wonderful if the DEA and FDA caught up with what we currently know and adapted their recommendations accordingly.
In the meantime, take advantage of a Take-Back Day collection event in your area to get rid of your old medications in the safest manner possible.
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