Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

It’s prescription drug take-back day in the U.S. Safely dispose of any unneeded or expired medications by dropping them off at a prescription drug take-back site October 28, 2017, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Prescription drug take-back day

National prescription drug take-back day

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sponsors the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative in the U.S. to provide a safe and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs. The DEA hopes to educate the public concerning potential misuse of medications. It’s important that patients help prevent their medications from being misused by others.

Click here to find the nearest prescription drug take-back collection site for you.

Prescription drug take-back day is also an environmental activity

Prescription Drug Take-Back DayDiscarding prescription drugs is an environmental problem we seldom hear about. Randal Marks, PhD student in environmental engineering at University of Notre Dame, described the gravity of the problem. According to Marks, traditional techniques of water treatment may not remove contaminants that result from drugs in drinking water. He explained: “A worrisome class of emerging contaminants in drinking water includes pharmaceutical drugs and their related metabolites. These contaminants are not effectively removed using traditional treatment techniques and may cause significant and wide ranging damage to environmental and human health.”

Prescription drug take-back can help protect the environment as much as it helps protect people from inappropriate access to drugs.Drug take-back can protect the environment and people from inappropriate access to drugs Click To Tweet

Do you need a prescription drug take-back day?

I do. Personally I have some expired medications in my safe and I’m relieved that I can dispose of them safely. I’ve also been worried about how to safely get rid of some liquid Lortab from when my doctor gave me very small doses to reduce side effects. Neither the trash dump nor the water supply is an acceptable place to discard medications.

More medication safety tips

I got a medication safe a few years ago when I realized that any guest in my house, especially a vulnerable young person, might have access to a dangerous combination of meds. A safe can lower that risk.

1) Keep dangerous or addictive medications locked up in a medication safe. Keep the safe in a dry place that others cannot easily access – not the bathroom.

2) If you do not have access to a prescription drug take-back site, you can dilute the medication and make it unusable by mixing it with another substance such as kitty litter. The DEA recommends that you then seal it in a plastic bag before you throw it away.

3) Check medication expiration dates yearly to find expired ones to discard. Most medicines become less effective as they age, but some can actually make you sick. Last month I got a prescription to replace an outdated medicine I keep on hand but didn’t use up. The doctor was glad to replace it.

Click here to get 20 more medication safety tips.


Recommended reading

Edited 10/27/17 to update take-back date.

Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also

One thought on “Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

  • October 23, 2016 at 1:02 am

    Dear RA Warrier,
    I have been trying to get a diagnosis for an immune disease for 2.5 years. Blood tests negative. Two primary docs said I didnt have it. Had severe carpal tunnel EMG test was done i believe to just to shut me up. I had a double last March. Whatever it is has progressed. Finally an appointment with an RA 11/11. Need to ask a question. At the onset of my pain and swelling 2.5 years ago I had an episode in the middle of the night. I was under attack. Burning fever, top half of my body’s joints on fire, terrible pain and completely muddled thoughts. Woke up next day to just have achy joints. From there the aches turned into pain. I had about 8 of these night time episodes with less severity. I ended up javing panic attacks on the middle of the night after the first occurance. It felt seriously like my body was under some sort of attack from all my senses. Ever hear of anyone having these episodes just preceeding the onset of RA symptoms?


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