Proper Disposal of Unused Medications
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
is a partnership between local law enforcement, and the Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) to collect unused and unwanted prescription drugs and to provide residents with a safe way to dispose of these drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
The most recent Take Back Day was Saturday, October 26, 2013. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Leesburg Police Department and the Town of Purcellville Police Department partnered with the DEA to collect 749 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction. This was the seventh nationwide prescription Take-Back Day.
During the previous National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 27, 2013, Loudoun County law enforcement agencies collected over 800 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction - the largest amount collected by Loudoun law enforcement since the introduction of the initiative in the county.
About the Initiative
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away - both potential safety and health hazards.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the American Pharmacists Association are encouraging citizens to crush unused medications in a plastic bag and to mix medicine with an undesirable element, such as kitty litter, sawdust or coffee grounds, to discourage others from taking the medicines out of the bag.