Montpelier, Vt. - This Saturday, Vermonters will again be able to dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medications easily and safely at 55 locations throughout the state. April 30 marks the 22nd nationwide Prescription Drug Take Back Day, an opportunity for people to clean out their medicine cabinets and dispose of prescription drugs that might otherwise be misused or thrown away inappropriately.
These community drop-off sites offer a free, safe, convenient and responsible way to get rid of leftover medication. People are also able to drop off their vaping devices with the batteries removed, and cartridges. By bringing medication to a collection site, you can make sure it won’t be misused or taken accidentally. Safe disposal also avoids endangering waterways and wildlife, which can happen when you flush medication or throw it in the trash.
Vermonters can find the closest community disposal site by visiting dea.gov/takebackday.
“Prescription Drug Takeback Day has been important to our prevention strategy over the years, thanks especially to the hard work of public servants, community partners and everyday Vermonters willing to step up and take the small step of disposing of their unused medications in the right way,” said Governor Phil Scott. “Focusing on prevention is critical as we confront the opioid epidemic, and this is a valuable tool in that work.”
Take Back Day is organized in partnership with the Department of Health, local and state law enforcement and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The collected medications are securely gathered in one place, briefly stored, then transported out of state by the DEA and incinerated. Each year, between two and three tons of unneeded medications are turned in for disposal at Vermont sites.
In addition to the Take Back Day sites, Vermonters can dispose of prescription medicines throughout the year at their local pharmacies or police stations, and can order a free Medication Mail-Back Envelope.
Safe storage and disposal are key to making sure medications are not available for misuse. Nearly half of the people who misused pain prescriptions obtained them from a relative or friend. Vermonters are encouraged to take basic steps to ensure medication is used as intended, and safely disposed of when no longer needed:
LOCK ─ Store your medications in a lock box or locked medicine cabinet.
DROP ─ Drop off unused medication at a kiosk at your local pharmacy or police station.
MAIL ─ Or mail unused medication in a pre-paid envelope. Request a Free Medication Mail-Back Envelope
For more information about how to safely store and dispose of prescriptions, visit healthvermont.gov/doyourpart.