DOVER (Oct. 6, 2020) — Delawareans now have more options when it comes to keeping their unused medications out of the wrong hands.
In the last year, seven new permanent prescription drug drop boxes have been added to the state’s existing locations, boosting the statewide count to 28. The drop boxes are available year-round.
There are 10 permanent drop box sites in New Castle County, seven in Kent County and 11 in Sussex County. Statewide, there are prescription drug drop boxes inside 10 pharmacies, one behavioral health center, and the remainder are located in the lobbies of town or city police agencies.
“Now more than ever, while people are spending more time at home and are facing a great amount of stress, it is important to properly dispose of unwanted medications,” said Division of Public Health (DPH) Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Studies show that most opioid addictions start with a prescription. These same studies show us that more than half of the people who misused these prescriptions received them from a friend or family member. You can save lives by simply taking your unused medications to a secure drop box location.”
Disposing of unused medications at safe drop box sites can save lives and, in many cases, can prevent addiction before it even begins.
According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, prescription pain reliever misuse was the second most common form of illicit drug use in the United States. Other studies show that prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines, often used for anxiety, and stimulants also are also frequently misused.
More than half of the people who misused pain relievers obtained them from a friend or family member, according to the report “Key Substance Use and Mental Health in The United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.”
The need to secure opioid prescriptions medication is even more pressing in Delaware because it has the highest rate of high-dose and long-acting/extended release opioid prescriptions written in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Medical providers have written 60.6 opioid prescriptions for every 100 Delaware residents, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Delaware also has the second-highest rate of overdose deaths in the nation, according to the CDC. In 2018, 400 people died from a drug overdose in Delaware, according to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science. Eighty-eight percent of those deaths involved an opioid, according to NIDA.
As of October 2, 2020, 276 people are suspected to have died from a drug overdose in Delaware, according to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science.
Properly discarding prescription medications at secure drop box locations — particularly opioid prescriptions — can keep these medications from being stolen, misused, or out of the hands of small children and animals who may accidentally be poisoned by them.
Proper disposal at drop box locations also protects Delaware’s groundwater from contamination that occurs when medications are flushed down the toilet.
The 28 permanent prescription drug drop box locations are listed below by county. Check in with each location, as some have implemented COVID-19-related restrictions.
New Castle County
Newark Police Dept. 220 S. Main St. Newark, DE 19711
New Castle County Police Dept. 3601 N. DuPont Hwy. New Castle, DE 19720
Wilmington Police Dept. 300 N. Walnut St. Wilmington, DE 19801
Walgreens 1120 Pulaski Hwy. Bear, DE 19701
Walgreens 6317 Limestone Road Hockessin, DE 19707
Walgreens 2119 Concord Pike Wilmington, DE 19803
CVS Pharmacy 1545 Pulaski Hwy. Bear, DE 19701
CVS Pharmacy 4020 Concord Pike Wilmington, DE 19803
University of Delaware Police Dept. 413 Academy St. Newark, DE 19716
Rite Aid 2034 New Castle Ave. New Castle, DE 19720
Dover Police Dept. 400 S. Queen St. Dover, DE 19904
Smyrna Police Dept. 325 W. Glenwood Ave. Smyrna, DE 19977
Felton Police Dept. 24 E. Sewell St. Felton, DE 19943
Camden Police Dept. 1783 Friends Way Camden, DE 19934
Harrington Police Dept. 20 Mechanic St. Harrington, DE 19952
Milford Police Dept. 400 NE Front St. Milford, DE 19963
Walgreens 1001 Forrest Ave. Dover, DE 19904
Selbyville Police Dept. 68 W. Church St. Selbyville, DE 19975
Greenwood Police Dept. 100 W. Market St. Greenwood, DE 19950
Ocean View Police Dept. 201 Central Ave. Ocean View, DE 19970
Georgetown Police Dept. 335 N. Race St. Georgetown, DE 19947
Laurel Police Dept. 205 Mechanic St. Laurel, DE 19956
Delmar Police Dept. 400 S. Pennsylvania Ave. Delmar, MD 21875
Walgreens 17239 Five Points Square Lewes, DE 19958
Walgreens 22898 Sussex Hwy. Seaford, DE 19973
CVS Pharmacy 17229 N. Village Main Blvd. Lewes, DE 19958
SUN Behavioral Health Delaware 21655 Biden Ave. Georgetown, DE 19947
Millsboro Police Dept. 307 Main St. Millsboro, DE 19966
For further information on addiction recognition, prevention and treatment, visit www.helpisherede.com.
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.