BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Saturday is the DEA's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
Get rid of unwanted or expired prescription medications by bringing them to designated spots that include most police departments and pharmacies.
Last Take Back Day in October, 10,400 pounds of medications were collected in Baltimore County alone.
The goal of the day is to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
The DEA said most opioid addictions start with misuse of prescriptions. GBMC's director of community partnerships, Karen Thompkins, said especially important to be vigilant as the U.S. hits a record high number of fatal drug overdoses.
"We want to get on the on the other side so we are preventing people from experimenting with medications. A lot of people, especially young people, are more vulnerable to experimenting with medications that are lying around in the home," said Thompkins.
This time around, GBMC has partnered with other hospital systems and Baltimore County police and health departments to highlight the effort.
"I think just working together is an opportunity for organizations to figure out different ways we can address the epidemic and the more you collaborate the more ideas that you have," said Thompkins.
It’s a national push this weekend but you can drop off medications year around.
The drop off spots are important because medications shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet or throw away as is.
If a takeback program is not available near you or you can't make it out, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends following these steps:
- Mix the medication with used coffee grounds or cat litter and dish soap.
- Put the mixture in a sealable bag or a disposable container with a lid.
- Remove the prescription number and any personal information from the original prescription label.
- Dispose of the medicine and its original container in a trash can.
Click here to find a location near you.