Drug Take Back Day

Some of the prescription drugs collected during a previous Drug Take-Back Day are shown here, but county residents don’t have to wait for a particular day to turn in unwanted medicine. County Sheriff’s Offices and the local Maryland State Police barracks accept them every day.

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center is encouraging state residents to dispose of unneeded prescription medications on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, Oct.24, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

By taking unused, expired, and unwanted prescription drugs to a collection site for safe disposal, Marylanders can prevent the accidental or intentional misuse of medications.

“The safety of Marylanders is always our top priority,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “Properly disposing of unneeded prescription drugs is an effective means to stop these medications from presenting a danger to our families and communities. This is a simple way to save a life.”

There are dozens of drug-collection sites across the state. A list of sites that are participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this year can be found at TakeBackDay.DEA.gov.

Marylanders are also reminded that all 23 Maryland State Police barracks are 24/7 drop-off locations for old and unused medications.

Since its inception in 2010, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day has enabled the safe and environmentally friendly disposal of millions of pounds of unneeded prescription drugs. This year, with physical distancing and other coronavirus precautions in place across the state, collection sites remain a safe option for disposal of the excess medications that many of us have in our homes.

“It is very easy to forget about the old and outdated prescriptions that tend to accumulate in our medicine cabinets,” said Steve Schuh, the OOCC’s executive director. “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an opportunity to survey your home — as well as the homes of parents and other relatives who may have unneeded prescriptions — and dispose of dangerous and unnecessary leftover medications.”

“Marylanders can play a role in stopping the diversion of drugs to unintended uses and help to prevent overdose in the process,” said Susannah Beckerman of Maryland’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. “By safely disposing of unused and expired prescription medications on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, we can help both our communities and our environment.”

Throughout its tenure, the Hogan-Rutherford administration has engaged in an aggressive effort to address the opioid crisis and addiction in the state. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day complements a host of efforts to stem prescription drug misuse that are underway statewide.

The Maryland Department of Health’s Maryland Opioid Academic Detailing Project provides opportunities for public health professionals to develop rapport with prescribers and to improve prescribing practices using the latest CDC guidelines and other resources. Thirteen Maryland counties participate in the project. Additionally, the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration’s Talk to Your Doctor campaign urges every patient and advocate to ask questions whenever an opioid is prescribed.

Between fiscal years 2020 and 2021, the OOCC’s grant programs have provided over $1M in total funding for a statewide program to increase monitoring and regulatory oversight of controlled-substance prescribers and dispensers. In recent years, OOCC grants have also supported several programs designed to educate Marylanders on the dangers of prescription and other drugs, including Washington County’s “Go Purple” programs.

Before It’s Too Late is the state’s effort to bring awareness to the opioid crisis and to mobilize resources for effective prevention, enforcement, and treatment. Marylanders struggling with a substance use disorder can find help at BeforeItsTooLate.Maryland.gov; through our state's crisis hotline, Call 211, Press 1; or by texting their ZIP code to 898-211.

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