On Saturday, April 30 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the Montgomery County Police Department will be participating in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back day at multiple locations. This is a safe, free and anonymous opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by disposing of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs.
The drop-off 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 Station/Headquarters – 100 Edison Park Drive, Gaithersburg, 20878
- 2nd District Friendship Heights Community Center – 4433 S Park Avenue, Chevy Chase, 20815
- 3rd District Station – 1002 Milestone Drive, Silver Spring, 20904
- 4th District Station – 2300 Randolph Road, Wheaton, 20902
- 5th District Station – 20000 Aircraft Drive, Germantown, 20874
- 6th District Station – 45 West Watkins Mill Road, Gaithersburg, 20878
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 only be thrown in the trash if safety precautions are followed to prevent them from being ingested by an animal or person. The County’s Division of Solid Waste and Services offers these suggestions:
- Mix pills or capsules with kitty litter, coffee grounds or sawdust.
- Liquid medications can be solidified using kitty litter or sawdust.
- Put the medication mixture into a plastic bag (with a seal) or other empty container with a lid to prevent leakage.
- Carefully seal the bag and/or container.
- Put the container and/or bag containing the medication into your regular household trash.
- Remove the label with the patient’s name from the original medicine vial or bottle.
- 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 Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be incinerated by the Montgomery County Department of Police according to state and local regulations.