April 30 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day takes place this year on Saturday, April 30. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a nationwide event where communities across the country come together to provide people and families with a safe and effective way to dispose of unwanted, unused, expired or leftover prescription medications.

Why do we need drug take back days? Unwanted prescription drugs are a growing public safety issue. The prevalence of unused medications in American homes has substantially increased in recent decades, with approximately one in three households having unwanted medication in the home. This is problematic because it can increase the likelihood of accidental poisoning, misuse, or overdose. In fact, a recent report published by SAMHSA found that a majority of people who misuse prescription medication obtained it from a family member or friend. By properly disposing of unused medication, harmful situations like these can be avoided.

Why can’t I throw medication in the trash or flush it down the toilet? While there is nothing preventing you from taking these actions, they are less effective and potentially more harmful than participating in a drug take back day or using a permanent collection site. When thrown away, medication can easily be found by kids, pets, or other people. And when flushed, trace amounts of the medication can remain in the water supply and harm aquatic life.

How can I get involved? Anyone who has prescription medication can get involved with National Prescription Drug Take Back Day! On Saturday, April 30, thousands of locations across the country will provide the opportunity for people to turn-in any unwanted medications safely, anonymously, and at no cost. Locations typically include pharmacies, municipal buildings, police and sheriff stations, and healthcare facilities. You can find a participating location near you by visiting this website. If no take back locations are nearby, you can always ask a pharmacist about local disposal options.

In 2021, more than 839,000 pounds of prescription drugs were collected from 10,000 take back sites on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and we anticipate similar results this year, too!

If you or someone you know needs support for physical, mental, or social well-being, Wayspring may be able to help! Use our 5-question member eligibility tool to find if you’re eligible to enroll today!