This Saturday You Can Dispose
of Your Old Medications – Safely

National Drug Take Back Day is on
pace to collect more almost
one million pounds of old prescriptions.

National Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, April 27th. This is a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs. Between 10 AM and 2 PM your city police station or county sheriff office (with some other pharmacies and buildings) serve as collection points. To find the location near you, click here. The last Take-Back Day brought in more than 900,000 pounds of unused or expired prescription medication.

Dr. Kate Cabral is a Board Certified Cardiology Pharmacist and an Associate of the American
College of Cardiology. She regularly meets with patients at Capital Cardiology Associates to
discuss their prescriptions and medications. Dr. Carbal spoke of the importance of a “no
questions asked” drug take-back day. “This is a huge public safety and public health issue.
Six million Americans misuse controlled and prescription drugs, a majority which is obtained
from family or friends,” said Dr. Cabral. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) hosts “take-back”
days twice a year to safely collected unwanted or expired medications.

President Trump has brought much attention to our nation’s opioid crisis. Opioid abuse is at epidemic levels in the U.S. and remains a top public health concern. “If you have an old pain medication just sitting in your cabinet, that can be a risk for someone you know,” said Dr. Cabral. According to a national survey, 16.8 percent of high school students took a prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription (such as OxyContin®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, codeine, Adderall®, Ritalin,® or Xanax®), one or more times during their life. The DEA warns that social media sites play a role in providing information and advice to teens on how to use prescription drugs to get high. Parents should be aware of which sites their teens are visiting and should examine credit card and bank statements that may indicate medication purchases. They should also check the browser history to see which sites their teen is visiting on their computers and phones.

National Take-Back Day also provides safe drug disposal. Many Americans are unsure of the proper way to dispose of medications; most choose to dump the unused pills in the toilet and throw the bottle in the trash. The DEA advises if you cannot reach a collection site, you follow these follow steps to dispose of most medicines in the household trash:

Most medications are safe to be flushed down the toilet. Review this list of what’s safe or not. If you still have concerns or questions, mix medicines with an unappealing substance such as dirt, used coffee grounds, or kitty litter. Take them out of their original container first. Do not crush tablets or capsules before mixing.
•Place the mixture in a container (sealed plastic bag or empty can) to prevent the drug from leaking into the garbage.
•Throw the container in the trash.
•When disposing of empty prescription bottles or packages, be sure to mark out identifying personal information to make it unreadable.

Written by: Michael Arce, Capital Cardiology Associates
Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.