By Diane Lee, Public Information Officer, Garrett County Health Department
The Garrett County Health Department, in cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and local law enforcement agencies, will participate in the next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This event will take place on Saturday, October 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at three local locations, providing the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
Participants may bring their medication patches and pills, including pet medications, for disposal to one of the three local medication drop box locations:
- Sherriff’s Department, Oakland
- Oakland City Hall
- Maryland State Police Barracks, McHenry
The sites can only accept pills or patches, not liquids, needles, or sharps. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Anyone who needs to dispose of liquid medications, or who can not get to one of the medication drop box locations, may contact the health department about receiving a Deterra deactivation pouch. These pouches use patented technology for simple and environmentally safe disposal of prescription drugs, including opioids, by just adding water to the powder in the bag. The mixture neutralizes the drugs making it safe to dispose of the pouch in regular household trash.
This event is DEA’s 19th nationwide event since its inception 10 years ago. Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 883,000 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 sites operated by its state and local law enforcement partners. Events over the years have now collected a total of nearly 6,350 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications.
Collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations to help keep everyone safe.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 24th Take Back Day, visit www.DEATakeBack.com or call the Garrett County Health Department at 301-334-7730 or 301-895-3111. The local take back is made possible by the police agencies, Maryland Department of Health, SAMSHA, and the Garrett County Health Department.