The 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, October 28, 2017 and aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. The primary goal of this event is to reduce prescription drug abuse, which is the use of prescription drugs for recreational purposes. Another major component to this program is the environmental benefits.

Commonly, people use their household trash bins and toilets as a means of medication disposal because they’re convenient methods, but research shows that chemicals used in medications can travel through public septic systems, waste water treatment plants, and, if thrown in landfills, these chemicals can make their way to rivers, lakes, and our soils.

For example, trace amounts of drugs that alleviate attention deficit disorders and mental depression have been found in the Barton Springs Aquifer, the Heart of Austin. Tests have also identified antibiotics, painkillers, and steroid chemicals in bodies of water and local water supplies, which pose a threat to marine life and ultimately makes their way into human life. Also, consider what happens if you improperly ditch them in your trash can. Not only could it go to a landfill and eventually leach into the groundwater, it can also allow potential abusers access to your personal information if name and address labels on prescription bottles are not destroyed. We all know the risks and negative outcomes involved in identification theft and this program can help solve them.

There has been increasing interest among the public and federal, state, and local enforcement agencies in developing methods to dispose of unused and expired pharmaceuticals. These drug takeback programs reduce drug abuse and their introduction into our landfills, public water supplies, and environment as a whole. Take back programs are clearly a win-win for both public health and environmental safety so let's make sure we all do our part this year by becoming better educated, helping to spread the word, and taking action by properly disposing of our medications using the links below!

Helpful Links:

Locate a Collection Site Near You Search by zip code or city/state to find a collection site near you.

Law Enforcement Agencies Only For law enforcement agencies that wish to host a collection site please call the SPOC in your area.

Partnership Toolbox Download posters, handouts and other materials to promote National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.


Photo credit: US Dept. of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Photo credit: US Dept. of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)