If you are like us, April means its Drug Take Back time, and you are in the habit of going through your prescription and over-the-counter drug containers to weed out the expired and unneeded drugs. That is still a good idea, but this year you may have to rethink where you will bring the drugs for safe disposal so they stay out of our freshwater sources.
After organizing highly successful National Drug Take Back Days in April and October of the last four years, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has discontinued the program. Ongoing local collection sites are now available thanks to the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010.
To find a drug collection site near you, search the DEA's database, or find a site run by Yellow Jug Old Drugs®, a collection program operated by the Great Lakes Clean Water Organization in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
We now know that unsafe methods of disposing of unused medicines— like flushing the drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash--may lead to drugs entering our freshwater supplies. On April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will work with local partners to give the public a safer way of ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
Bring your pills and patches to a collection site for disposal. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Click the Got Drugs? button to find the most convenient site near you.
Over the last 4 years, over 3.4 million pounds—more than 1,700 tons—of pills have been safely disposed through this program! That's a big win for clean water!