Dispose of unused prescription drugs safely this Saturday

April 23, 2024
IDHW Communications

This Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, an initiative that addresses public safety issues related to unused prescription medications.

Gather unused prescription medications in your home and find a safe disposal area near you.

Unused prescription medications can be susceptible to abuse, misuse and theft. During this National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, the public is encouraged to safely and securely dispose of unneeded and unwanted medications to help prevent drug misuse and overdose deaths throughout our communities.

In 2022 an estimated 49,000 Idahoans 12 years old and older misused prescription pain relievers, and an estimated 14.2 million Americans misused prescription stimulants, sedatives, and pain relievers nationwide, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

At the twenty-fifth National Prescription Drug Take Back Day event held in October 2023 some 4,500 pounds of discarded material in Idaho was collected. Nationally, that figure jumped to nearly 600,000 pounds. Since the program began 115,203 pounds of material have been collected in Idaho.

The event helps people safely dispose of unused prescription drugs, but it also helps raise awareness that pharmaceutical drugs can be as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a proper prescription or doctor supervision.

Unused prescription drugs disposed of in the trash can be retrieved and abused or sold illegally. Throwing prescription drugs into the toilet or public waterways can contaminate water. Proper disposal of unused drugs can save lives and protect the environment.

Law Enforcement agencies are responsible for collection of materials at the conclusion of the event and turning in these prescription drugs is easy, safe, and anonymous. Discarded drugs can be dropped off from the convenience of your car.


National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: https://odp.idaho.gov/take-back-day/

To find a permanent subscription drug disposal location near you: https://odp.idaho.gov/prescription-drug-take-back-program/

City of Boise disposal of medication, needles, and syringes: https://www.cityofboise.org/departments/public-works/curb-it/medication-and-sharps-disposal/

CDC tips for safe storage and disposal of prescription medication: https://www.cdc.gov/wtc/pdfs/WTC_Factsheet_Prescription_Medicine_WEB_0319-P.pdf

DHW overdose prevention: https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/services-programs/behavioral-health/overdose-prevention

2-1-1 Idaho CareLine (A free, statewide community information and referral service, and program of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.): https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/services-programs/211

National Behavioral Health Treatment Locator:

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov

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