On Saturday, September 26 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Montgomery County law enforcement agencies will be conducting a Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This is a safe, free and anonymous opportunity to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs. This initiative is part of an effort to prevent the increasing problems of prescription drug abuse and theft that continues to occur nationwide.
On September 26, there will be drop-off locations throughout Montgomery County. These locations will accept prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications only. Liquids, illicit drugs, needles, sharps and syringes cannot be accepted as part of the take-back program. Officers will staff collection boxes in the parking lots or in the lobbies of the following facilities:
Montgomery County Police Department:
- 1st District/Headquarters – 100 Edison Park Drive, Gaithersburg, 20878
- 2nd District Friendship Heights Community Center – 4433 S Park Avenue, Chevy Chase, 20815
- 3rd District – 1002 Milestone Drive, Silver Spring, 20904
- 4th District – 2300 Randolph Road, Wheaton, 20902
- 5th District – 20000 Aircraft Drive, Germantown, 20874
- 6th District – 45 West Watkins Mill Road, Gaithersburg, 20878
Chevy Chase Village Police Department – 5906 Connecticut Avenue, Chevy Chase, 20815
Gaithersburg Police Department – 14 Fulks Corner Avenue, Gaithersburg, 20877
Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack – 7915 Montrose Road, Rockville, 20854
Rockville City Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office – 2 W. Montgomery Avenue, Rockville, 20850
Takoma Park Police Department – 7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park, 20912
The Montgomery County law enforcement community is particularly interested in medications containing controlled substances but will accept any medications brought for disposal. All sites will take pills and medication patches of all kinds. If possible, prescription labels should be removed or personal information should be blacked out; however, pill bottles will still be accepted if the labels are attached. No questions will be asked. This is an opportunity to safely empty out a medicine cabinet of drugs that are no longer needed.
Disposing of drugs through a drug take-back day is the safest option. If it is safe to dispose of a drug by 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.
Drugs should not be thrown in the trash unless specific safety precautions for safe disposal are followed. The County’s Division of Solid Waste and Services offers these suggestions:
1.Place unwanted or expired medication into a plastic bag (with a seal) or other empty container with a lid to prevent liquid medications from leaking out.
2.Mix with kitty litter, coffee grounds or sawdust. (Liquid medications can be solidified using kitty litter or sawdust.)
3.Seal the bag and/or container.
4.Crush pills or tablets.
5.Put the container and/or bag containing the medication into your regular household trash.
6.Remove the label with the patient’s name from the original medicine vial or bottle.
7.Place the empty plastic vial or bottle into your blue County recycling bin. Empty aerosol inhalers can also be recycled in the County recycling bins.
Unused and/or expired medicines that remain in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses 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.
All the returned medications on Drug Take-Back day will be destroyed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.