Federal, state and local officials are hosting another National Prescription Drug Take Back day Saturday. The spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy Dale Woolery says it’s another opportunity to get rid of unwanted drugs.
“This will be the 10th take back opportunity over the last five years for Iowans to dispose of unused controlled prescription drugs which an be those medicines that are subject to abuse — like prescription pain relievers,” Woolery says. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration had planned to end the take back days, but reinstated the program.
“We’ll have over 100 sites across Iowa in communities where mainly on Saturday from 10 to 2 and they’ll be handled securely and disposed of through incineration,” Woolery says. permanent locations across Iowa, where Iowans can do the same in an ongoing basis.” While there are more opportunities now to take back medications, Woolery says the take back days have served as a reminder for people to do a check.
He says it’s good to take time once in the spring and in the fall to clean out your medicine cabinet for out-of-date or unused medications. “This will be a great opportunity to get rid of those medicines in a safe an secure way, so they don’t get into the drinking water, they don’t get into the wrong hands, don’t lead to abuse,” Woolery says.
You can anonymously dispose of the medications. “I think there are studies being done to try and determine what people are throwing away in the event that that would help determine future courses of actions as to how this should be done better to be more user friendly. I haven’t heard the results of that,” Woolery says. “But as a rule, nobody is getting in there. This is all sight unseen, nobody’s asking questions, nobody’s going to see what somebody has been taking. By design it’s to be anonymous.”
Woolery says the numbers show there are a lot of the unused prescription drugs out there. “In the state of Iowa alone over the last five years, 25 tons of unused meds have been collected at these take back events,” according to Woolery. The DEA says more than 2,400 tons of prescription drugs have been turned in nationwide in the five years. For a complete list of sites and times for the take back, go to the Office of Drug Control Policy website.