National Drug Take Back: Medication Safety Starts with You

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is coordinating another National Drug Take-Back Initiative across the United States on Saturday, October 28, 2023. In addition to the three permanent take-back locations, Garrett County is adding several temporary locations during October highlighting the message, Medication Safety Starts with You.

Because of the importance of keeping medications out of the hands of those who could misuse or abuse it, the Garrett County Health Department (GCHD) reminds everyone that the county has three permanent medication drop box locations, including Oakland City Police (Town Hall), Garrett County Sherriff’s Office, and the Maryland State Police Barracks in McHenry. The drop boxes are available anytime the lobbies are open. Accepted at these locations are tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs, but not liquids, syringes and other sharps, or illegal drugs. According to local data reports from the GCHD, 127 pounds of medications were collected at the drop box locations during fiscal year 2023.

In addition, the following events will take place at the listed location, dates, and times ONLY:

  • October 24, 5:30-7 pm, Kitzmiller School
  • October 28, 10 am-2 pm, Grantsville Dollar General

According to the Washington Division of the DEA, the misuse of unused medications has become a significant public safety issue in our area, leading to accidental poisonings, abuse, and many overdoses. The take-back event provides an opportunity for everyone to dispose of unwanted medications in a safe way and remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from our communities, keep our local families safe, and reduce the number of drug overdoses across the area. Even if you don’t have kids in the home, it is still important to properly dispose or lock up unused medications.

The Health Department also has Deterra medication disposal pouches available at their office. The pouches use patented technology for simple and environmentally safe disposal of prescription drugs by adding water to the powder in the bag. The mixture neutralizes the drugs, making it safe to dispose of the entire pouch and its contents in your regular household trash.

Another way to get rid of medication is to put wet coffee grounds or wet kitty litter into a plastic bag, mix in the medication, seal it up, and throw it into your household trash.