The Washington Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is again partnering with local law enforcement agencies, government, and public health organizations across the country to present the seventh National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. In Montgomery County, this initiative is supported by the partner law enforcement agencies and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse Prevention Office. This safe, free and anonymous opportunity to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs will take place on Saturday, October 26 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This take-back program is part of an effort to prevent the increasing problems of prescription drug abuse and theft that are occurring nationwide.
There will be eleven drop-off locations throughout the County. Officers will staff collection boxes in the parking lots or lobbies of the following facilities:
MCP 2nd District Police at Friendship Heights Village Community Center - 4433 S. Park Avenue
Chevy Chase Village Police Station - 5906 Connecticut Avenue
MCP 1st District Station - 100 Edison Park Road.
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MCP 6th District Station - 45-A West Watkins Mill Road
Gaithersburg Police Station - 14 Fulks Corner Avenue.
MCP 5th District Station - 20000 Aircraft Drive
Rockville City Police/Montgomery County Sheriffs at Rockville City Police Station - 2 W. Montgomery Ave.
Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack - 7915 Montrose Road
MCP 3rd District Station - 801 Sligo Avenue
Takoma Park Police at Takoma Park Community Center - 7500 Maple Avenue
MCP 4th District Station - 2300 Randolph Road
The DEA is particularly interested in medications containing controlled substances but will accept any medications brought for disposal. All sites will take pills of all kinds but cannot accept syringes. If possible, prescription labels should be removed or personal information should be blacked out; however, pill bottles will still be accepted even if the labels are attached. No questions will be asked. This is an opportunity to safely empty out a drawer or a medicine cabinet of drugs that are no longer needed; and possibly prevent accidental poisoning, overdose or purposeful drug abuse.
There are limited options for consumers to legally dispose of their old medications. Disposing of them through a drug take-back day is the safest option. There are a small number of very harmful medications that should be disposed of by flushing because their accidental ingestion could potentially be fatal. If it is safe to dispose of a drug by rinsing it down a sink or flushing it down a toilet, the drug label or prescription information will indicate that option is an appropriate means of disposal. Otherwise, unused drugs should not be poured down a sink or flushed for disposal. It is also not advised to simply throw drugs away. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) advises that any prescription pills that are disposed of through the trash should not be crushed, and should be placed in a container such as an empty plastic margarine tub or sealable plastic bag and mixed with an unpalatable substance like used coffee grounds or kitty litter. These precautions would greatly lessen the chance of theft and use of the drugs or accidental ingestion by an animal.
According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), twice as many Americans regularly abused prescription drugs than the number of those who regularly used cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined. That same study revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, including from the home medicine cabinet.
All the medications returned on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be incinerated by the DEA according to federal and state environmental guidelines. Additional information is available at www.dea.gov.