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Time to Dump All Those Old Prescription Medicines

Here are the locations where you can, as part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 26.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo

Expired, unused or otherwise unwanted prescription drugs can be safely discarded Saturday, April 26, during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Connecticut State Police, along with many local police departments, are participating in the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The map above shows the State Police take-back locations. To find the take-back box nearest you, just type your zip code into this DEA search bar.

This will be the eighth time in three years that police departments and the DEA have provided the public with an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. 

Addressing A 'Vital Public Safety and Public Health Issue'

The DEA says this initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. 

"Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misues, and abuse," the DEA states. "Rates of precription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs." 

Almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. And more Americans died in 2010 from overdoses of prescription medications (22,134, including 16,651 from narcotic painkillers) than from motor vehicle accidents, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the DEA, studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.   

In addition, the DEA states, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards. 

"Last October, Americans turned in 324 tons (more than 647,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 4,000 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its seven previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 3.4 million pounds — more than 1,700 tons — of pills."

The DEA says it is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or their family member or pet owner) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them be delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long-term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.


Paige Smith April 27, 2014 at 08:51 AM
I agree, Anthony. Or, call your local PD, and ask a drop off bin be made available. Another way to contact them is online...some PDs have facebook pages, to encourage tips and suggestions from the community. Be part of the solution.
Thomas Alegi April 27, 2014 at 07:18 PM
The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem. Milton Friedman. Does anyone agree?
Craig Zac May 14, 2014 at 04:36 PM
cant you just flush them? especially if you have a septic system in your yard? I mean, you flush poo and pee and god knows what else in there... what's a few old pills gonna do?
Connie May 15, 2014 at 08:25 AM
I saw on local TV the Wallingford residents asking the board to put up a permenant Drop Box for med. Mayor Dickenson is the only one that answered questions of many people that spoke for it. This drug drop does not have to be a one day thing. The people that spoke said there was a grant for it. Read my comments on --------------------------------------------------------------http://wallingford.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/drop-box-debate_6688c373
Connie May 15, 2014 at 04:38 PM
Drop Box comments I made on this site. http://wallingford.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/drop-box-debate_6688c373

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