Living Well: National Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 27
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 27. If you have prescription drugs in the house that are going unused or they’ve expired, visit Craig Police Department, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27 at Walmart, 2000 W. Victory Way.
Call 970-826-3055 for more details.
If you have prescription drugs that are either expired or no longer needed, don’t just toss them in the trash or flush them down the toilet.
Improperly or carelessly disposing of prescription drugs can have serious consequences. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reports that unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to potential accidental poisoning, misuse and overdose.
The last National Drug Take Back Day collected 914,236 pounds of prescriptions medicine in October 2018.
“Often times there are patients who have many medications from past prescriptions lying around their house,” said Ryan Alberico, PharmD, pharmacist at Memorial Regional Health Community Pharmacy. “Having expired or unused medications can cause severe accidents if a member of the household takes a medication that is not prescribed to them.”
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day happens twice per year across the country. While the event promotes the safe disposal of unused or expired prescription drugs, Alberico encourages anyone with unused medications to utilize safe disposal resources if they do not want to wait for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
“Throwing a medication in the garbage or down the toilet is bad for the environment,” he said. “Wasted drugs can get into the water supply and affect other people and animals that drink the water. It is not recommended per the EPA due to these reasons. In addition, medications that are thrown away also pose a serious risk — such as opioid overdose — to people who happen to stumble upon and take the disposed medication.”
If you have medications that you’d like to discard, there is a bin at the Public Safety Center that accepts this medicine. Pharmacies are not equipped to properly dispose of medications, so don’t bring them there.
As medications reach their expiration dates, they can lose effectiveness in treating a condition. Alberico said it’s important to dispose of expired medications in order to maintain effectiveness.
“One common misperception is why utilize a special day to take back prescriptions when you can use the leftover prescriptions that you have in case of emergency?” he said. “While this may save someone money in the short term, it is important to keep in mind the expiration date on the bottle that you have. National Drug Take Back Day provides the perfect opportunity to safely dispose of medications.”
As part of a national effort to curb abuse of medications, Northwest Colorado agencies are seeking help from residents.