Drug Enforcement Administration’s biannual Drug Take Back Day
The Drug Enforcement Administration held their 25th biannual Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The Drug Enforcement Administration first began this nationwide initiative back in 2010.
Emily Murray, the Public Information Officer with the DEA’s Omaha division, said they safely disposed of more than 8650 tons of medications.
“We know from research, unfortunately, that a lot of people who have an addiction problem who got started on prescription medications,” Murray said. “Where did they find it? They found it in the medicine cabinet of a friend or family member, and it was stolen.”
Murray said not only does Prescription Drug Take Back Day helps with disposing expired medication, but also any unused or unwanted prescribed drugs.
“It’s an anonymous program so you can bring your medications in,” Murray said. “I will say the one thing that we cannot take are sharps like syringes, things like that. We can’t take that back just for safety concerns. We can take liquids back like cough medicine as long as the bottle is sealed. That’s the most important part, so that we don’t have problems with that as we’re collecting everything.”
Several Walmart and Sam’s Club locations nationwide allowed local authorities to use their parking lots for Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Tony Bastien, a Narcotics Investigator with the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office said there are other locations where people can bring their unused, expired or unwanted medication year round.
“The Cloquet Police Department, their lobby has a box that can be dropped off seven days a week,” Bastien said. “Carlton County Sheriff’s Office. The jail lobby has a box that can be dropped off there, as well as the Moose Lake Police Department.”
Bastien said when it comes to safely disposing medication it’s crucial for safety.
“Any time we can get rid of medications that aren’t being used is good,” Bastien said. “Obviously, children and grandchildren, they’re always going and looking for things. Sometimes obviously, pills can look like candy or whatever. So we worry about any kind of accidental overdoses.”
Hannah Rosendahl, a pharmacy manager with Walmart, said they also offer an at home method for disposing prescribed medication.
“If any of our opioid prescriptions that we dispense at our Walmart pharmacies, we give with those medications, DisposeRx. This a product that basically makes it very safe for you to dispose of your medications at home.”
For more information about National Prescription Drug Take Back Day you can read more here. Also for the list of Walmart locations that participated in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day you can look here.