Don’t be the dealer – dispose of unwanted medications

By Regence
October 21, 2020

Regence supports National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 24

The key to addressing the misuse and abuse of opioid prescriptions could be hiding in your medicine cabinet.

Pain medications are the single most frequent cause of accidental poisoning fatalities in children younger than 6 years old, according to the National Poison Control Center, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports that most abused prescription drugs are taken from family and friends.

We can all play a part in preventing drug addiction and overdose deaths by disposing of unwanted prescriptions and keeping medications in use securely stored. And it’s easy to do.

Making drug disposal safe and easy

Saturday, Oct. 24 marks the next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a twice-annual event sponsored by the DEA. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., local agencies will be standing by to receive and safely dispose of unused or expired medications.

The DEA offers a list of collection sites nationwide, many of which are accessible year-round. You can find one near you by entering your ZIP code in the Drug Take Back Day collection locator

If there is not a collection site near you, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers information for safe disposal of medications at home.

DEA Drug Take Back Day

Secure hazardous substances, including medications, cosmetics and cleaning supplies

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends storing medications out of children’s reach and sight. Never leave medications on counters or surfaces within easy reach of curious hands. The CDC also recommends telling guests who may have medications stored in purse or coat pockets to put them up and away, out of sight.

The National Poison Control Center reports that cosmetics lead the list of substances found in accidental poisoning of children, followed by cleaning substances and pain medications. Keep these substances in secure locations to keep kids safe.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a good reminder to take stock of the unused medications you have on hand, dispose of them safely, and secure other hazardous substances to keep your family and friends safe.