National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: What You Need to Know

Published April 25th, 2014 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Chris Riley

This Saturday, from 10am – 2pm is the bi-annual national prescription drug take back day. It’s a good opportunity to emphasize the importance of this day to help tackle an ongoing source of addiction, and trafficking of prescription medications.

This initiative addresses a serious public health issue, and also a public safety issue. Prescription drugs that remain in medicine cabinets in homes are highly susceptible to abuse, misuse, as well as trafficking. Each Year:

  • 12 million people in the US abuse prescription painkillers.
  • 15,000 people die each year due to prescription painkiller overdose.
  • $72.5 billion is spent in direct health care costs to payers.

While a major worry for parents is that young children will accidentally ingest medications within reach, the group most likely to misuse and abuse prescription and OTC medications are in reality, teenagers. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as many as one in five American teens has abused prescription drugs. In a 2013 National Results on Drug Abuse Monitoring the Future survey, about 50 percent of high school seniors said that opioid drugs other than heroin would be fairly or very easy to get.

Here are some tips you can use to keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands:

  • Keep a regularly updated, written inventory of all prescriptions and OTC medications.
  • Safeguard all prescription medications by keeping them locked up – make sure grandparents and other relatives follow the same practice.
  • Do not pour unused medications down the sink or toilet as this can contaminate the water supply and harm the environment.
  • Any local pharmacy should be able to take back unused or expired medications. Use this handy drug collection site locator to find the nearest place to safely dispose of your unused prescriptions this Saturday.

For the prescriptions that you do need, visit to save up to 75% on all FDA approved prescription medications, absolutely free. 

Published April 25th, 2014 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Chris Riley

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