National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

April 27, 2024

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an initiative started by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Take Back Day officially occurs twice a year (the last Saturdays of April and October). According to McCall Prevention Facilitator Josh Licursi, MPH, “It serves as a big reminder for people to clean out their medicine cabinet and find any unused, expired, or unwanted medications.”

Pictured on the right is Kyle Fitzmaurice, Community Engagement Specialist with two members of the Winchester Police Department. 

The goal is to reduce access.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” says Chelsea Kapitancek, B.A., also a Prevention Facilitator at McCall. “Drug Take Back Day is a great community-driven initiative.” It’s supported by coalitions and organizations in Northwest Connecticut, including local police departments.

“Prevention is the focus,” Josh emphasizes. “We’re preventing medications from getting into the hands of children or people who shouldn’t be using those medications. By safely disposing of medications, you can keep other people out of harm’s way. You can prevent accidental ingestion or even accidental overdose.”

“Properly disposing of medications is also really great for the environment,” notes Chelsea. Flushing medication down the toilet or throwing it in the trash can negatively affect waterways and soil.

Drug Take Back basics.

Step one: Clean out your medicine cabinet(s) and box up your items. Step two: Bring them to a drop-off location near you.

What kind of medications are accepted? You can bring prescription pills, patches, and liquids (as long as they’re tightly sealed in their original containers), and even un-used veterinarian prescriptions. Certain items are not accepted.

For example…

  • No aerosol containers
  • No syringes
  • No illicit drugs
  • No equipment with lithium batteries

Disposal is completely anonymous – with no questions asked.

Pictured from left to right: Traci Eburg, Community Engagement Specialist, and Darian Graells, B.A., Prevention Facilitator & Tobacco Treatment Specialist.

Year-round disposal options.

It doesn’t have to be Drug Take Back Day to dispose of your medications. Chances are, there’s a year-round disposal site not too far from your home. Click here to find out.

In Connecticut, there are local drug collection boxes throughout the state. The website features a helpful map of drop boxes.

Josh and Chelsea also recommend the Deterra Drug Deactivation System.

McCall encourages everyone to consider these effective options to keep our family and friends safe.