How to dispose of old, unused prescription drugs on National Drug Take Back Day

Local News

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The community will have the opportunity to safely get rid of unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs on Saturday for National Drug Take Back Day.

This is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

There are multiple drop-off sites open in our area on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Beaufort

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents can drop off items at the parking lot of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Center (2001 Duke Street).

There will be no liquid medications, sharps, medical waste or inventory from medical practices accepted.

The event is made possible by a partnership between the Beaufort County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Department, the Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

If you are unable to participate on Saturday, a drop-off box is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the main lobby of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Center.

Bluffton

Officials will be taking expired or unwanted prescription medications at the parking lot of Beaufort County’s Bluffton Government Center (4819 Bluffton Parkway) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Anyone who can’t make it out on Saturday can visit the drop-off box on the second floor of the Beaufort County Government Center. It’s available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Brunswick

In Glynn County, the public can bring pills for disposal to the Brunswick Police Department (206 Mansfield Street) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Brunswick police say the event is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Liquids, needles or sharps cannot be accepted. COVID-19 guidelines will be followed.

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 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

Brunswick police say 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,” the Brunswick Police Department said in a press release. “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.”

Hilton Head Island

Although the island won’t have a take back event on Saturday, a drop-off box is available at the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

Drop off prescription drugs Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Savannah

In Savannah, the public can bring pills and patches to Memorial Health’s drop-off site, located across from the hospital main entrance at 4700 Waters Avenue. Drop off will be drive-thru only and will be from 8 to 11 a.m.

Liquids, needles, syringes, lancets, inhalers and aerosols will also be accepted.

Memorial Health’s drug take back event is part of HCA Healthcare’s second annual national “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day. In fall 2019, 100 HCA Healthcare facilities in 16 states collected 5,887 pounds of unused and expired medications at nationwide drug take back events; the Savannah event collected 441 pounds of medication.

“Stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic may be exacerbating the opioid crisis by causing many Americans to have feelings of anxiety, grief, isolation, financial worry, and an ongoing sense of uncertainty, affecting those with substance use disorders as well as those at risk of developing one,” said Dr. Jay Goldstein, medical director for emergency services at Memorial Health. “It’s more important than ever to get unused pain medications out of homes and to educate the community about the serious threat of opioid misuse.”

In addition to the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day, including the 11,000 authorized collectors that are available all year long. For more information, visit DEA’s year-round collection site locator.

The FDA also provides information on how to properly dispose of prescription drugs. More information is available here.

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