Once again the Montgomery County Police Department will be participating in the Washington Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) “Prescription Drug Take Back Day.” This special opportunity to safely dispose of unneeded prescription drugs is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 29 from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. The Take Back initiative began in September of 2010 and is part of an effort to prevent the increasing problems of pill abuse and theft that continue to occur nationwide. This is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.
Montgomery County Police will host seven DEA Prescription Drug drop off locations throughout the County. Each of these locations will accept expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs. Illicit drugs and needles cannot be accepted as a part of this take back program.
A collection box will be available for parking lot drop-off if weather permits. If there is inclement weather the drop-off will take place in the lobby of each drop off location. The locations include:
- 1st District Station:1451 Seven Locks Rd., Rockville
- No drop off at the 2nd District Station
- 3rd District Station:801 Sligo Ave., Silver Spring
- 4th District Station:2300 Randolph Rd., Wheaton
- 5th District Station:20000 Aircraft Dr., Germantown
- 6th District Station:45 West Watkins Mill Rd., Gaithersburg
- Former MCP Headquarters:2350 Research Blvd., Rockville
- Friendship Heights Village Community Center:4433 S. Park Ave., Chevy Chase
The DEA is particularly interested in medications containing controlled substances, but will accept any prescription medicines brought for disposal. All sites will take pills of all kinds. If possible, prescription labels should be removed or personal information should be blacked out; but pill bottles will still be accepted if the labels are attached. This is an opportunity to safely clean out a medicine cabinet of drugs that are no longer needed. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
On April 28, 2012, when the DEA sponsored its last Drug Take Back day, 552,161 pounds—276 tons—of prescription drugs were turned in nationwide at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners. In the four previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds—nearly 775 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that remain in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as is the number of accidental poisonings and overdoes due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Additional consumer information on the safe and legal disposal of old medicines is available at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html. All the medications returned on Drug Take Back Day will be incinerated by the DEA according to federal and state environmental guidelines.