Drug Take Back Day

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a public health and safety issue. Too often unused and expired prescription medications get into the wrong hands. Disposing of medications safely can help protect your family from getting or using medications that are expired or out of date; prevent the illegal use of unused medications and minimize any potential negative impact on the environment.

At the last Drug Take Back Day in October, the DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unused medications, close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs were turned in.4 Over the 10-year span of Drug Take Back Day, the DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs.4

Why can’t I throw out my medications at home?

Prescription medications left to expire in people’s homes are susceptible to misuse or abuse. Prescription drug abuse rates, overdose and accidental poisoning statistics are frighteningly high in the United States. During the pandemic, opioid overdose deaths have increased.4 Studies show that most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, or from home medicine cabinets.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of harmful myths floating around regarding medication disposal. Many people will try to flush their medications down the toilet or crush their medicines before throwing them in the trash. Flushing can end up polluting our waters and crushing medicines can put trash handlers at risk of exposure if the drug were to encounter their skin or if they were to breathe in the dust. Medicine take back programs are the best way to dispose of unwanted medicine.

What You Should Know  

The DEA can ONLY accept pills or patches. The DEA CANNOT accept liquids, needles, or sharps.

The DEA now advises against “usual methods” for disposing of unused medications. For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs, visit: National Prescription Drug Take Back Day (usdoj.gov).

Where do I go?

Visit the DEA’s website to find a collection site: https://takebackday.dea.gov/. Here you can input your zip code and find out where the closest drop off site is located.

How can Tria Health Help?

As a member of Tria Health, if you have multiple medications and are afraid, you will throw away the wrong medication, we can provide additional assistance in selecting the proper medications. Tria provides one-on-one consultations with a clinical pharmacist who assists you with your medication management.

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. Take Back Day (dea.gov)
  2. dea national drug take back toolkit_final.pdf (memberclicks.net)
  3. 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables (samhsa.gov)
  4. DEA Announces 20th Take Back Day

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