How to safely dispose of your old prescription drugs

By  | 

Quad Cities (KWQC) - This Saturday, October 26th is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Prescription painkillers

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said it’s a day to help Americans prevent drug overdoses and deaths.

The DEA said one way to help prevent overdoses is by properly disposing your prescription drugs.

According to the DEA National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs in 2018.

The DEA said the study shows a majority of abused prescription drugs come from friends, family and even your own medicine cabinet.

TV6 spoke with The Abbey Addiction Treatment Center in Bettendorf about Take Back Day.

“It’s movement to maintain people’s safety so people can take medication back to a safe, secure, supervised location,” said Karen Relf, The Abbey Program Director.

She said you should not throw your prescriptions in the trash because it could end up in landfills or the wrong person’s hands.

Relf said you also shouldn’t flush drugs down the toilet because it can be harmful to the waterways.

A Davenport Walgreen's told TV6 certain locations of theirs have year-round kiosks where you can drop off unwanted, unused or expired medications.

Relf said some Quad City police departments will also be collecting prescriptions on Take Back Day.

She said it’s important to throw away your old and unused prescription drugs properly.

“It could end up in the wrong person’s hands,” said Relf. “Unfortunately it can lead to all kinds of things, whether it’s an overdose or someone takes it and starts selling it on the streets, or imagine a child finding something in a medicine cabinet. They don’t know what it is and if they are able to maneuver the cap open now you have a child that is ingesting medication that can be detrimental to them.”

If you’re thinking of cleaning out your medicine cabinet, you can reference the DEA collection site locator to find the nearest drop-off near you.