Department of Consumer Protection, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Encourage Families to Dispose of Unneeded Medication on Drug Take Back Day
April 23, 2021 – Tomorrow, Saturday, April 24 is National Drug Take Back Day, and across the country, families are encouraged to dispose of their unneeded medication. Families in Connecticut can participate by visiting one of the 108 drop boxes in the State of Connecticut or a take back event hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“Taking time to regularly clean out your medicine cabinet is something we should all do,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “Properly disposing of unwanted and unused prescriptions is one way to effectively prevent addiction, which often begins with leftover prescription opioids. We also remind people not to flush prescriptions, which can be harmful to the environment.”
“A majority of the prescription drugs that are misused are obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. It’s important to safeguard your home and community by regularly cleaning out medicine cabinets and properly disposing of unused or expired pharmaceuticals,” said DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon. “Bringing medicines that are no longer needed to a designated local collection site for safe disposal can prevent misuse and potentially save a life.”
In 2020, Connecticut residents disposed of more than 43,000 pounds of unwanted medications in DCP drop boxes which are available at many law enforcement locations and some pharmacies.
Saturday marks the 20th National Drug Take Back Day hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration in the past decade. Learn more about the event at www.deatakeback.com.
At its last Take Back Day in October, the DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs across the country. Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
Anyone who has questions about drug disposal, or would like to host a drug take back event at any time of year, can contact DCP’s Drug Control Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.