Drug Take Back Programs

April 28, 2018 is the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The DEA is encouraging anyone with unused medications to turn them in to participating drop off locations throughout the country. (For additional information and a list of collection sites visit: www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/)

At Golden Gate Veterinary Compounding Pharmacy we fully support the appropriate disposal of any “left-over” pharmaceuticals all year round and wanted to take the time to educate and encourage the proper disposal of unused medications.

In the past it was recommended to flush any left over medicines down the drain. Flushing medications sends them directly into our rivers, streams and waterways. Unfortunately, wastewater treatment plants have no way to remove them. Studies have found antibiotics, anti-seizure medicines, mood stabilizers and sex hormones in drinking water across the United States. We also now know that these flushed medications have devastating effects on our marine life. So, if we aren’t supposed to flush medication what do we do?

Businesses, organizations and institutions across the country are setting up drop off locations to help people conveniently and properly dispose of medications. Resources are available to help find these drop off locations all over the internet. CalRecycle’s Facility Information Toolbox is one such resource and provides a detailed list of facilities all across California that collect unused pharmaceuticals for disposal all year round. You are able to search by county/region, zip code, material to dispose, etc. There are 10+ available drop off locations in Marin County alone.

Many Walgreens pharmacies across the national have installed Safe Medication Disposal Kiosks in which to quickly and conveniently dispose of left over medicine. These kiosks accept both prescriptions (controlled and non-controlled substances) and over the counter medications. There are over 50 Walgreen locations in California with these safe medication disposal kiosks. Click here to find a location near you.

If no collection facilities are available in your area, large chain pharmacies may provide postage paid mailers for mail back programs. Local and city governments may also offer medication pick up or mail programs, so check with your community resources.

As a prescriber of medications, we hope that you take the time to properly dispose of all expired and unused medications. And we hope that you pass this important message onto your clients. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is on April 28 and your participation would be a great way to kick off your spring cleaning!