A prescription drug drop off box.

Saturday was the national drug take back day, but state officials say if you missed it, you can still get rid of your unused prescription drugs. Kevin Gabbert with the Iowa Department of Public Health says there are 82 permanent drop off sites in the state that you can use.

“It think it’s very important because one of the statistics that we’ve heard most often is that the introduction to things like heroin often start with a prescription opioid, with a prescription drug,” Gabbert says. Gabbert works with people who are recovering from addiction, and says the availability of prescription pain killers can be a problem.He says they can obtain the drugs illegally, or just take them from family or friend’s medicine cabinet.

“So the take back is a great way to limit the amount of opioids that are available and further limit the number of individuals who do develop an addiction or dependency.” Gabbert says you should do a check every spring on your medications.

“It’s a great time for you to take a look in your medicine cabinet, look through those cupboards. Find some of those medications that you know you are never going to use again and bring them to these sites,” Gabbert says. You can find a listing of the permanent drug take back sites on the website of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy.