HEALTH

The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to take place Saturday

Oct 27, 2023, 4:02 PM | Updated: 6:13 pm

(FILE) Opioids and other medications in a medicien cabinet....

(FILE) Opioids and other medications in a medicien cabinet.

(FILE)

SALT LAKE CITY — Saturday, October 28, is the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 24th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and the Salt Lake City Police Department is participating.

According to a press release from SLCPD, over 4,000 sites nationwide will be open for anonymous drop-off of unused prescription medication. In Salt Lake City, these will include the SLCPD Pioneer Precinct at 1040 W. 700 S. and the Public Safety Building at 475 S. 300 E. between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

The U.S. drug overdose epidemic continues to escalate, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting over 112,000 overdose deaths for the 12-month period ending in May 2023.

On their Take Back Day website, the DEA stresses the importance of proper medication disposal “as a measure of preventing medication misuse and opioid addiction from ever starting.”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration concluded in a report that over half of people who misuse prescription painkillers get them for free from a relative or friend.

Improper disposal of medication — such as flushing it down the toilet — also risks serious environmental impacts.

Dr. Steven Maher, an Emergency Medicine Specialist with the Mayo Clinic, said in an interview with CNN that medication disposed of this way can create problems at sewage treatment facilities or even seep into groundwater and soil.

The DEA webpage also features a national Collection Site Locator where nearby participating collection sites can be identified based on city and ZIP code. And a national network of safe disposal sites that operate regularly can be searched here.

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The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to take place Saturday