Montgomery County Law Enforcement Agencies and DHHS to Participate in DEA Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 16, 2017

Nat’l Drug Take-Back Day

On Saturday, October 28 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., community members can drop off unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs as Montgomery County once again participates in the Washington Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

County law enforcement agencies and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse Prevention Office are co-sponsoring the effort. This is a safe, free and anonymous opportunity to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs and is part of a national effort to prevent the increasing problems of prescription drug abuse and theft that continues to occur nationwide.

Drop-off locations will be open to the general public 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 this take-back program. Officers will staff collection boxes in the parking lots of the following facilities or in facility lobbies:

Bethesda

MCP 2nd District Police Station                                     7359 Wisconsin Avenue


Chevy Chase:

Village of Friendship Heights Community Center            4433 S. Park Avenue

Chevy Chase Village Police Station                                 5906 Connecticut Avenue


Damascus

Damascus Library                                                             9701 Main Street


Gaithersburg:

MCP 6th District Station                                                  45A West Watkins Mill Rd. 

Gaithersburg Police Station                                              14 Fulks Corner Avenue

Asbury Methodist Village – Lobby of Hefner Bldg.            417 Russell Avenue

Senior Living at Kentlands Manor                                      217 Booth St., Kentlands


Germantown:

MCP 5th District Station                                                    20000 Aircraft Drive


Rockville:

Rockville City Police/Montgomery County Sheriffs            Rockville City Police Station     2 W. Montgomery Avenue (Lobby of Rockville City Police building)

Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack                            7915 Montrose Road

Bender Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Washington                                                                         6125 Montrose Road


Silver Spring:

MCP 3rd District Station                                                    1001 Milestone Drive

Fire Station 1                                                                       8110 Georgia Avenue


Takoma Park:

Takoma Park Police at Takoma Park City Building Lobby  7500 Maple Avenue


Wheaton:

MCP 4th District Station                                                 2300 Randolph Road                                                                      


Residents are encouraged to bring 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 prescription 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 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 recycling bins.

Unused and/or expired medicines that remain in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. According to the DEA, 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.

The returned medications on Drug Take-Back day will be incinerated according to federal and state environmental guidelines.

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