National Prescription Drug Take Back Day highlights importance of proper disposal of medications

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(DENVER) Oct. 24: Protect your family and the environment by responsibly disposing of your unneeded or expired prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication at the Oct. 28 Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Medication Take Back Day.

Many Colorado communities will host events for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A list of drop-off locations is available at the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day website.

If you can’t make it to the take-back event, the Colorado Department of Public Health and

Environment’s Medication Takeback Program has numerous permanent drop-off sites throughout the state.

Almost half of teens (47 percent) say it is easy to get prescription drugs from a parent’s medicine cabinet, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Proper disposal of unused medication prevents the potential for accidents and misuse, protecting children and teens from harm. Medications flushed down the toilet or thrown in the trash can contaminate water systems and threaten wildlife.

“Disposing of unused medication is easier than ever, and I’m thrilled our Medication Takeback program makes it so easy for Coloradans to do their part to protect their families and their community,” said CDPHE’s Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability Director, Jeff Lawrence.

Coloradans can responsibly dispose of their medications, free of charge and year-round, at Medication Takeback boxes at 300 locations across the state. The process is simple: gather unused or expired medications, remove any personal information from the packaging, place them in a sealable bag or container, and locate the nearest drop box at the Medication Takeback collection site. Almost all expired or unneeded prescription or over-the-counter medication can be disposed of in a Medication Takeback Dropbox. This includes:

  • Opioids and other controlled substances.
  • Prescription patches.
  • Prescription creams and ointments.
  • Unused medical inhalers (if empty).

Drop boxes do not accept:

  • Trash.
  • Sharps or syringes.
  • Thermometers.
  • Chemotherapy medication.
  • Illicit substances.

The Medication Takeback Program is also currently partnering with community organizations and non-profits statewide to continue promoting takebacks even after National Prescription Drug Take Back Day ends.

For more information, visit the Medication Takeback Program website or