It’s spring time and Earth Day, which means it’s also National Drug Take Back Day. This Saturday, April 27th from 10 am until 2 pm, various police stations and other locations throughout the DC Metro (and nationally) will take back unused or expired drugs. It happens twice a year and keeps unwanted and unneeded drugs from ending up in our streams, rivers and ultimately the Bay. Below you’ll find some local links to take back sites.
Take unused, un-needed or expired non-controlled prescription drugs out of their original prescription bottles to protect your personal information. Crush medication and place in an impermeable, non-descript container such as an empty can or sealable bag. Mix with coffee grounds, dirt or kitty litter and discard with regular trash. Liquid medication may be handled in the same fashion.
Take advantage of community pharmaceutical take-back programs that allow the public to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal. The following companies have been identified as accepting prescription drugs for proper disposal. It is recommended to call in advance to verify availability of take-back option. You may also check with your local pharmacy.
CVS Pharmacy: 5780 Silver Hill Road in District Heights, 301-736-3992
CVS Pharmacy: 7012 Marlboro Pike in Forestville, 301-736-8683
CVS Pharmacy: 8201 Annapolis Road in New Carrollton, 301-577-6222
CVS Pharmacy: 5922 Martin Luther King Highway in Seat Pleasant, 301-925-9054
CVS Pharmacy: 10692 Campus Way South in Upper Marlboro, 301-336-2900
Walgreens Pharmacy: 7953 Crain Highway in Glen Burnie, 410-969-3417
Supreme Pharmacy, LLC: 7936 Johnson Avenue in Glenarden, 301-322-8082
If you can not reach one of the take back sites, it’s important to dispose of the medications properly. It is no longer appropriate to dispose of medication by flushing it down the toilet. By the same token, it’s also necessary to keep them out of the hands of thieves. Instead, mix the pills with some salt water (to start the dissolving process) and coffee grounds or kitty litter (to make it unappetizing to would be thieves.) Here is an FDA flyer with instructions.
Christine Bitzer, LICSW, is the Assistant Director of Seabury Resources for Aging’s Care Management service. Care managers work with older adults on an individual basis to advise them on a variety of issues and services; such as home care, transportation, medical/legal assistance and housing. Families are put at ease having a knowledgeable guide to provide recommendations and resources to meet their unique needs. This expertise can save families money and reduce stress and time away from work. Christine can be reached at (202) 364-0020 or email her at CBitzer@seaburyresources.org