Iowans will be able to safely get rid of their old prescription drugs during the first-ever nationwide “take-back” program on Saturday. Kevin Frampton, director of the Iowa Narcotics Division, says drop-off stations will be located at more than a dozen drug stores, shopping malls and law enforcement offices in more than 20 cities statewide.
“Anyone that has unused or expired prescription medications can turn them in to the different drop sites throughout the state, no questions asked and there’s no cost to do that,” Frampton says. “It’s a good way to safely dispose of their medications.” He says the initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, as medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse.
Frampton says, “We’re seeing across the country a rise in the abuse of prescription drugs and a lot of those pills are being removed from family medicine cabinets and are getting into the hands of people that have not been prescribed those medications.” Some Iowans may just throw their old meds in the garbage or flush them down the toilet, but he says those are potential safety and health hazards. Frampton says it’s easy to find a place close by for the Saturday drop-off.
He says to visit the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s website at “www.dea.gov” and enter your ZIP code to find the nearest drop-off location.
An official with the DEA says prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, while the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs are increasing at alarming rates.
Iowa cities that are hosting drop-offs include: Alburnett, Altoona, Anamosa, Boone, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Creston, Des Moines, Jefferson, Lake Mills, Madrid, Marion, Mason City, Monticello, Ogden, Ottumwa, Sioux City, Tama, Urbandale, West Des Moines, Williamsburg.