Discard unused medications on Drug Take-Back Day

DOVER ‑— Delaware will hold its 18th Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday. Expired or unused medications can be discarded at 24 locations statewide between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Organized nationally by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Drug Take-Back Day is operated locally by the Division of Public Health. The twice-a-year event is aimed at reducing the risk of prescription medications being diverted for misuse, and has resulted in nearly 11,000 pounds of medication being collected since 2010.

Properly discarding unused medications is an important ongoing event in the effort to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. Doing so reduces the risk of addiction by keeping prescription medications out of the hands of people who may misuse, abuse, or sell them, and helps reduce the risk of drug overdoses. “Both the direct prescribing of opioids for pain as well as the abundance of these dangerous drugs in our medicine cabinets and communities, have been a significant driver of the opioid epidemic,” said DPH Medical Director Dr. Rick Hong. “By safely turning in your prescription medications during Drug Take-Back Day, you can help fight the opioid epidemic in our state and make your home safe from potential prescription drug abuse or theft.”

According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, six million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

Since January 1, 2019, there have been 70 suspected overdose deaths in the state. Preliminary estimates for 2018 indicate 419 overdose deaths across Delaware, an increase of 21 percent from the 2017 total of 345 deaths, according to the Division of Forensic Science. In addition to the sites participating in April’s Drug Take-Back Day activities, there are 21 permanent medicine drop-off locations across the state available year-round.

Six of Delaware’s permanent drop-off sites are in Walgreens pharmacies and the other 15 are located in local law enforcement agencies. For a list of permanent collection sites, visithelpisherede.com.

On Drug Take-Back Day, medications for disposal must be in a container such as a pill bottle, box, blister pack, or zipped plastic bag, with personal information removed. Liquid medications must be in their original containers. Needles, aerosols, biohazard materials, medical equipment and batteries will not be accepted.

Delaware’s Drug Take-Back Day sites include, among others:

New Castle County • Middletown Police Department, 130 Hampden Road

Kent County • Atlantic Apothecary, 103. S. Dupont Blvd., Suite 2, Smyrna • Cheswold Police Department, 691 Main St., Cheswold • Delaware State Police Troop 3, 3759 S. State St., Camden-Wyoming • Felton Police Department, 24 E. Sewell St., Felton (permanent collection site) • Dover Police Department, 300 S. Queen St., Dover (permanent collection site)

Sussex County • City of Lewes Board of Public Works, 129 Schley Ave., Lewes • Dagsboro Police Department, 33134 Main St., Dagsboro • Delaware State Police Troop 7, 18006 Coastal Highway, Lewes • Laurel Police Department, 205 Mechanic St., Laurel (permanent collection site) • Milton Police Department, 101 Federal St., Milton • Milford Police Department, 400 NE Front St., Milford (permanent collection site) • Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation and Health Center, 231 S. Washington St., Millsboro • Ocean View Police Department, 201 Central Ave., Ocean View, (permanent collection site) • Lewes Ferry Terminal, 43 Cape Henlopen Dr., Lewes • Rehoboth Police Department, 229 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach

For more details about Drug Take-Back Day, visit dhss.delaware.gov or call 744-4546, ext. 4.

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