The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is working with state and local officials to hold the “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” this Saturday. The acting director of the Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy, Dale Woolery, says it’s not uncommon for people to have old prescription drugs collecting dust in their medicine cabinets.
“We don’t all necessarily use every pill that gets prescribed and especially with prescription pain killers. They work great when you need them, but at some point you may not need them anymore. And if you’ve got some sitting around, it’s time to get rid of them, now is a good opportunity to get rid of them,” Woolery says.
He says there will be approximately 100 sites around the state set up to take the unused medicine and safely get rid of it. Woolery says the take back day is part of the spring cleaning mindset, and you should check for expired or unused medications, now is the time to get rid of them in an environmentally friendly way.
Some people might throw expired prescription drugs in the garbage, or flush them down the toilet, but doing that can allow those drugs to cause environmental problems. And he says clearing out old drugs ensures they are not misused.
“We know that in Iowa, like the rest of the nation, we have a growing problem with prescription drug abuse that leads to some addiction, and tragically, ultimately can lead to an overdose death. And the major source for those prescription drugs that are abused, unfortunately happens to be the medicine cabinet,” according to Woolery.
This is the fourth federal take back day. “Over the last two years, more than 10,000 pounds of unused or unwanted or expired medicines have been disposed of by Iowans so far,” Woolery says. Most sites will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday.
To find a collection site near you, go to: www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov.