On Saturday, April 28, Montgomery County participated in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 15th Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
Across the country, 4,683 law enforcement agencies participated, providing 5,842 collection sites and receiving 949,046 pounds of turned-in prescription drugs. In Montgomery County, the law enforcement agencies participating included: Montgomery County Police, Maryland State Police, Rockville City Police, Gaithersburg Police, Takoma Park Police, Chevy Chase Village Police and the Sheriff’s Office.
From 15 collection sites within Montgomery County, 48 bags weighing 1,099 pounds were received. In addition, the City of Rockville held a more-than-one day turn-in event which collected 19 bags weighing 489 pounds.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days address a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. With the current prevalence of opioid overdoses, safely deposing of opioid drugs can play a major role in helping to curb their life-threatening abuse.
Participating in Drug Take-Back days provides an opportunity to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. Until the next Prescription Drug Take-Back Day scheduled for Saturday, October 27 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., follow these important drug-disposal tips. Drugs should not be thrown in the trash unless specific safety precautions for safe disposal are followed. The County’s Division of Solid Waste Services offers these suggestions:
- Place unwanted or expired medication into a plastic bag (with a seal) or other empty containers with a lid to prevent liquid medications from leaking out.
- Mix with kitty litter, coffee grounds or sawdust. (Liquid medications can be solidified using kitty litter or sawdust.)
- Seal the bag and/or container.
- Crush pills or tablets.
- Put the container and/or bag containing the medication into your regular household trash.
- Remove the label with the patient’s name from the original medicine vial or bottle.
- Place the empty plastic vial or bottle into your blue County recycling bin. Empty aerosol inhalers can also be recycled in recycling bins.