LOCAL NEWS

Saturday Is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Apr 23, 2021, 12:22 PM | Updated: 1:58 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Saturday is the 20th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day — an opportunity for Utahns to anonymously remove medicines in the home that are highly susceptible to misuse, abuse and theft.

Residents can safely and securely dispose of any unused or expired prescriptions at dropboxes across the state and help prevent prescription drug misuse.

These permanent community collection sites are free and can be found at law enforcement agencies and participating pharmacies across the state.


MORE: Find a dropbox location near you


All prescription drugs will be accepted, as well as over-the-counter medications, vitamins and veterinary medications, along with unwanted e-cigarettes or vaping apparatuses.

“Prescription drug abuse, particularly for painkillers, has risen to epidemic levels nationwide, and Utah is no exception,” said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. “Prescription drugs, when administered and taken responsibly, can be a productive tool for pain management. But far too often, what begins innocently can lead to dependence and devastation.”

Nearly 500 tons (985,392 pounds) of expired, unused prescription medications were turned in during the Drug Enforcement Agency’s October 2020 Take Back Day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 87,200 Americans dying as a result of a drug overdose in a one-year period (Sept. 1, 2019, to Sept. 1, 2020) — the most ever recorded in a 12-month period.

The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating significantly during the first months of the pandemic.

“It’s important to keep our own homes safe by regularly cleaning out medicine cabinets and any other areas where we store our pharmaceuticals,” said DEA Acting Administrator D. Christopher Evans. “Bringing unused or expired medications to a local collection site for safe disposal helps protect your loved ones and the environment.”

Find a collection site near you at takebackday.dea.gov.

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Saturday Is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day