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4 Things You Should Know About the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

This post is sponsored by, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

As a Mom, my ultimate job is to keep my children safe. I talk about this with them often because they often, as all children tend to do, have some risky behaviors. Running around a swimming pool, walking through a parking lot oblivious to the surroundings, and so many more daily activities that could bring about harm.

One subject that I’ve always discussed with them is the safety around medications, even their own vitamins, for example. I’ve always explained that they are never to take medicine or vitamins, without it being given to them by me. If they see a pill or even a piece of candy that could resemble medication, they are to tell a parent immediately.

The reason this has been a discussion in our family since they were little is because we had an extremely scary and dangerous situation happen with Sophia was just 3 years old and Moreaya just 1.5. Sophia had seen a pill sitting on a bathroom sink while we were on vacation and the next time she noticed, it was gone. She was fearful that her little sister had ingested the pill so she came to me immediately.

After a very scary trip to the Emergency Room, with evaluations and monitoring by doctors, they determined she had not ingested the medication and all was well. We determined that a family member had put it away without Sophia seeing it happen. But that fear and situation has stuck with me, even 6 years later, making medication and how we store and dispose of it a conscious effort.

While our story ended well and was obviously an oversight on storing medication, our country is definitely facing a crisis when it comes to prescriptions and epidemics and some of these issues come from medication that is either sitting cabinets unused or expired.

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. [Source]

The opioid crisis has grown and knows no discrimination, touching individuals of all ages, races, and genders. And anything we can all do to make the crisis better, is a good thing! That’s why the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was created. It’s a unique opportunity for Americans to protect their homes and medicine cabinets from theft and abuse. And it also provides individuals with a secure and convenient way to dispose of medications.

That’s why today I’m sharing 4 things you should know about this great national event and how YOU can make a difference too!

October 26, 2019

The most important thing to know about National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is when it is! The event will be held at numerous locations, more on that in the next point, on Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 10 am to 2 pm. Because this event is only held twice a year, it’s important to mark your calendars in order to dispose of your unused or expired medications safely.

Find a Drop-off Site Near You

Now that you have marked your calendars, it’s time to head to to find a collection location near you. Simply click “Collection Site Locator” at the top of the page and search your closest location by zip code or city and state.

Free & Safe

Other than the locations and date, the most important thing to know about National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is that it’s a free and safe program. Events are held at specific collection sites across the country where individuals can drop off their prescriptions anonymously. There will be no questions asked when you bring your unused, unwanted, or expired medications for disposal. The events are secure and convenient for everyone.

What Can and Cannot Be Dropped Off?

Any unwanted medication can be dropped off as long as it is in tablet, capsule, patch, and other solid form. The medication does not have to be prescription. The collection locations will also collect over-the-counter medicines.

The following can NOT be dropped off as part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day:

  • Liquids, including intravenous solutions
  • Syringes and other sharps
  • Illegal drugs

At the last event, in April 2019, there were a total of 6,528 collection sites that collected a total weight of 937,443 lbs.  of unused, unwanted, or expired medications! Let’s work together to make our medicine cabinets, homes, and families safer by joining in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to dispose of medications we no longer need or use.

To learn more about National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 26th, visit

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