Delaware’s Division of Public Health (DPH) and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will help the public properly dispose of expired, unused and unwanted medication on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, Oct. 29. Delawareans can bring medications for disposal to any of the 28 collection sites throughout the state from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous—no questions asked.
According to the DEA, 3,398 pounds of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications were collected in Delaware at the last event, held April 30. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day addresses a vital public health and safety issue. Flushing medicines down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety, environmental and health hazards. Traces of medical hormones, antidepressants, antibiotics and other drugs have been detected in Delaware’s drinking water. In addition, medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse.
“I urge Delawareans to look in their medicine cabinets and take any unused medications to one of these drop-off sites,” said Governor Jack Markell. “We can do our part to keep drugs out of the hands of those who might abuse them and help our environment by properly disposing of drugs we don’t need.”
More than 7 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs in the U.S., according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Each day, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a collaborative effort between DPH’s Office of Healthy Environments and 41 partners statewide including the Governor’s Office, DNREC’s Environmental Crimes Unit, Delaware State Police, Delaware Attorney General’s Office, Delaware Department of Justice Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Office of Controlled Substances and other municipalities, law enforcement agencies and community groups. The collection sites in Delaware are listed below, or go to www.dea.gov and click on “Got Drugs?” or call 1-800-882-9539.
New Castle County
Christiana Care Health Services, parking lot T
Delaware State Police Troop 1A, Wilmington
Middletown Police Station
Newark Senior Center
New Castle Co. Police Department Headquarters
New Castle Airport Terminal Building
Shipley Manor, Wilmington
University of Delaware, Public Safety Building
Atlantic Apothecary in Smyrna
Camden Municipal Complex
Delaware State University
Dover Police Department
Felton Town Hall
Harrington Police Department
Heritage Assisted Living, Dover
Bridgeville Fire Department
Dagsboro Police Department
Delaware State Police Troop 4, Georgetown
Greenwood Police Department
Heritage Assisted Living, Milford
Lewes Ferry Terminal (DRBA)
Milford Police Department
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Mears Health Campus, Seaford
Ocean View Police Department
Rehoboth Beach Police Department
Selbyville Town Hall
Walgreens Pharmacy in Laurel