On Saturday, May 2 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., several Montgomery County law enforcement agencies will be conducting a Prescription Drug Take-Back day at multiple locations. 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. The Rockville City Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting a Drug Take day on May 30.
On May 2, there will be 10 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 of the following facilities or in their lobbies:
MCP 2nd District Police at Village of Friendship Heights Community Center – 4433 S. Park Ave.
Chevy Chase Village Police Station – 5906 Connecticut Ave.
MCP 1st District Station – 100 Edison Park Rd.
MCP 6th District Station – 45A West Watkins Mill Rd.
Gaithersburg Police Station -14 Fulks Corner Ave.
MCP 5th District Station – 20000 Aircraft Dr.
Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack – 7915 Montrose Rd.
MCP 3rd District Station – 1002 Milestone Dr.
Takoma Park Police Station in the Takoma Park Community Center Building Lobby – 7500 Maple Ave.
MCP 4th District Station – 2300 Randolph Rd.
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.