EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — This Saturday, Oct. 28, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sponsors this event in communities nationwide to give Americans a chance to safely and responsibly dispose of expired, unwanted, or unused medicines.
“With studies indicating a majority of misused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medication is essential in preventing unauthorized access and potential overdose deaths,” said Madeline Marlow, the director of the East Providence Prevention Coalition.
Police departments and pharmacies across the region will have free, anonymous dropoff sites open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where can I drop off my prescription drugs?
Find the nearest participating locations on this map, or look them up by ZIP code at the DEA’s website.
What drugs can I turn in?
Tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs will be collected at participating locations. Liquids and IV solutions, syringes, and illegal drugs will not.
The DEA will accept vaping devices and cartridges as long as any lithium batteries are removed.
What if I can’t make it during those hours?
Most pharmacies, hospitals, and law enforcement facilities have a safe way to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs. Still, you should call ahead to check that they are prepared to collect the medicine.
If you can’t leave the house or are too far from a dropoff location, there are still options for getting rid of old medicines. The FDA has a “flush list” of drugs with high potential for abuse or overdose – if your drug is on this list, the safest disposal option outside of a takeback site is to flush it down the toilet.
If your drug is not on the list, you can mix unwanted pills or liquids with an unpalatable substance, place them in a sealed bag, and throw them in your household trash.