Vermonters Can Turn In Unneeded or Expired Medications on Take Back Day this Saturday
Montpelier, Vt. - This Saturday, October 26, 2019, is the 18th nationwide Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Governor Phil Scott is encouraging Vermonters to bring their unused, unwanted and unneeded prescription medications to any of the more than 60 drop off sites around the state. This year, any site in Vermont will also accept e‐cigarette and other vaping devices that have had their batteries removed. Vermonters can find a nearby collection site at takebackday.dea.gov.
“Removing these medications from our medicine cabinets is a very small but important part of our work to reduce the availability of opioids and other harmful substances in Vermont,” said Governor Phil Scott. “Thank you to all Vermonters who continue to participate in Take Back Day and thank you to the local, state and federal partners who help to organize and execute these efforts.”
Working in collaboration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Vermonters disposed of 6,562 pounds of medications on the last Take Back Day in April. Since September 2015, 44,788 pounds of medication have been collected, amounting to nearly 22.5 tons of prescription drugs that were destroyed and not available for diversion or misuse.
“More than half the people who misuse prescription medications get it from a friend or relative, often straight out of the medicine cabinet,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine. “Drug Take Back Day is a great way for people to think about the importance of ridding their homes of these ‘Most Dangerous Leftovers,’ and how that can help impact the opioid crisis. And it’s not just for one day. We want people to focus on safe storage and safe disposal all year long. That’s why we are making it easy for Vermonters to dispose of medications whenever they want to.”
Medications that are not properly stored can pose a risk to the health of children and pets who might accidentally ingest them. Flushing medications or tossing them in the trash can also endanger our waterways and wildlife.
Take Back Day helps to raise awareness of new and expanded strategies that make it even easier for people to safely dispose of unused and unneeded medications by following these simple steps:
- Lock – Store your medications in a lock box or locked medicine cabinet.
- Drop – Drop off medications at kiosks at your local pharmacy, police station and other locations.
- Mail – Get a pre-paid mail-back envelope to easily send in medications.
According to the Vermont Department of Health, in the past 14 months, nearly 3,000 mail-back envelopes have been sent in, with an additional 5,183 pounds of medications collected through disposal kiosks at Vermont pharmacies and hospitals. The Lamoille County Sheriff’s Office coordinates pick-up of drugs turned in to local law enforcement offices. These efforts have led to a combined total of 6,273 pounds collected so far in 2019.
To learn more about Vermont’s prescription drug disposal system, visit healthvermont.gov/alcohol-drugs/services/prescription-drug-disposal.
To learn more about prescription opioid awareness, visit healthvermont.gov/RxAware.