Patients urged to properly dispose of unused, expired prescriptions

| April 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

April 28 is Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Sgt. Vaughn R. Larson
Army News Service

SAN ANTONIO — Army installations across the U.S. are supporting National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, April 28.

This turn-in is an opportunity for those who have missed previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.

According to the DEA, Americans who participated in the DEA’s third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Oct. 29, 2011, turned in more than 377,086 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at 5,327 take back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

When the results of the three prior Take Back Days are combined, the DEA, and its state, local and tribal law-enforcement and community partners, have removed 995,185 pounds of medication from circulation in the past 13 months.

“The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the past three Take Back Day events speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs,” said Michele Leonhart, DEA administrator. “DEA remains hard at work to establish just such a drug disposal process, and will continue to offer take back opportunities until the proper regulations are in place.”

For exact turn-in times, locations and details, visit and click on the “Got Drugs?” banner on top of the home page. The banner directs beneficiaries to a database where they can find convenient collection locations in their zip code area, county, city or state.

For those unable to make it to a collection location, unused or expired medicines can be disposed of safely in the household trash by these methods:

•Mix them with something that will hide the medicine or make it unappealing, such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds.

•Place the mixture in a container, such as a sealed plastic bag.

•Throw the container in your household trash.

The FDA recommends flushing as a means of disposal for only a limited number of medications, including Oxycontin, Demerol and Percocet, to prevent danger to people and pets in the home.

Flushing these medicines will get rid of them right away and help keep your family and pets safe.

Hawaii Drop-Off Locations

Turn in unused or expired medication for safe, anonymous disposal on National Take Back Initiative Day, April 28.

The military community (Soldiers, family members and civilians) can dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs at three locations, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.:

•Exchange (inside, near the flower shop), Schofield Barracks;
•Marine Corps Exchange (front), Kaneohe Bay;
•Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Exchange.

The off-post population may participate in National Prescription Take Back Day at four locations on Oahu, also from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.:

•Mililani Town Center (middle of Center), 95-1249 Meheula Pkwy.;
•Hawaii State Capitol, 415 S. Beretania St., Honolulu;
•Kapolei Police Station (parking lot), 1100 Kamokila Blvd.; and
•Windward Mall (center court area), 46-056 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe.

Call 541-1930 or visit


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Category: Army News Service, Health, News, Safety

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