Drug Take Back Day: Free, responsible disposal system

Ken MammarellaGovernment, Headlines


The 26th national Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 27. Joshua Coleman photo from Unsplash.

Delawareans can discard their expired or unused medications at locations statewide between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, during the 26th national Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The biannual event, aimed at reducing the risk of prescription medications being diverted for misuse, has collected nearly 120,000 pounds of medications in Delaware since 2010.

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Medications to be disposed must be in a container – such as a pill bottle, box, blister pack or zipped plastic bag – with personal information removed. Liquid medications must be in their original containers. Vape pens and e-cigarettes will be collected i batteries are removed.

Drug takeback sites

About 20 sites will be participating, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration list, noting that the lineup is updated daily.

The sites are scattered around Delaware, but there are no sites in the Brandywine Hundred, Hockessin or Pike Creek area.

The event is operated locally by the Delaware Division of Public Health. The drop-off points are staffed by the named police departments, plus the Delaware River and Bay Authority Police, Delaware State Police, the Red Clay School District public safety department and the Wilmington Police Department.

Help Is Here Delaware, a division initiative,  lists other spots where old and unwanted medications may disposed of year-round. They include pharmacies and libraries with Deterra bags,  which release carbon after water is added, making the drugs inactive. Drop boxes are also available at police departments and pharmacies year-round.

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Officials want people to use these methods because meds flushed in the toilet or rinsed down the sink can become part of groundwater, which may end up in drinking water.

And meds just left in medicine cabinets offer disturbing temptations. “Over half of teens say that they can easily obtain prescription drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets,” according to Help Is Here.

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