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National Drug Take Back Day

   Mark your calendars


National Drug Take Back Day

April 27, 2013

 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  
Check after April 1st   
Safely dispose of your old drugs
Many households may have unused or expired drugs in their medicine cabinet. These drugs may become a safety hazard placing children, teenagers and other members of your household at risk of an overdose.

There are many reasons to safely dispose of unused medicines:

  • Medicines may lose their effectiveness after they have expired, and this can be dangerous to your health if you have certain medical conditions
  • The recommendations may have changed on some of your over-the-counter and prescription medicines (For example, it is no longer recommended that children under four years of age take cough or cold medicines)
  • Leftover medicine can become a safety hazard to children, teenagers or other members of your household who do not understand the dangers of taking medicine not prescribed for them
  • Some prescription medicines such as painkillers can be removed from your home without your knowledge and contribute to your community’s drug abuse problem
You should inventory your medicines. Check expiration dates and remove all unlabeled containers, expired prescription and over-the-counter medicines and any leftover prescription drugs. It is important that medicine is disposed of in a safe manner.
Drop off your unused medication
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency, local communities and volunteers are available to collect and safely dispose of your family’s unwanted drugs and medications. 

To participate, remove your personal identifying information from containers and place medicine in a sealable bag for transportation to the drop box location.
Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently published proposed rules to implement the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010.
This act authorizes DEA to develop permanent, on-goping and responsible methods for the disposal of controlled substances.  The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) provided no legal means for transferring possession of controlled medications from users to other individuals for disposal. 
In December 2012, DEA published in the Federal Register proposed rules to expand disposal options to include Take-Back events, mail-back programs and collection receptable locations. The public comment period closed February 19, 2013. However, until these regulations become permanent, DEA will continue to hold Take-Back Days.

​For more information about safe disposal of medicine: 

DEA Take-Back Event Toolkit

Medicine Abuse Project

Smarxt Disposal 

American Medicine Chest Challenge



Visit to find tools to tell children and guests what they need to know about medicine safety. 

National Safety Council is a proud partner of the Up and Away and Out of Sight educational program, part of CDC’s PROTECT Initiative.
Poisoning Emergencies
Call your poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 right away if you think your child might have gotten into a medicine or vitamin.
Program the number into your home and cell phones so you will have it when you need it. 
Become trained in first aid and CPR with AED online or in a classroom. Ideally, at least one person in each household should have these lifesaving skills.
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