National Prescription Drug Take Back Days Ensure Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs

National Prescription Drug Take Back Days Ensure Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs

In the US, the use of prescription opioids has skyrocketed. Since 1999, the prescription of opioids has increased four-fold. While it is true that the use of these drugs has led to improvements in medical pain management, it has also resulted in an Opioid Crisis. The term Opioid Crisis refers to the abuse and deaths associated with illegal and prescription opioids. In 2015, six million Americans abused prescription drugs and the majority of these individuals obtained their drugs from the legal prescriptions of family and friends. In fact, one study found that 61 percent of patients who were prescribed opioids for pain management were given more than they needed and only 41 percent of these patients reported disposing of their unused opioid pills safely. This means there are large quantities of excess pills in the community that could potentially be abused.

The goal of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) sponsored National Prescription Take Back Day is to provide a safe, convenient, and anonymous way to dispose of excess or expired prescription drugs. In other words, the goal is to get these unneeded drugs out the medicine cabinets and out of the community so that they cannot be abused and further contribute to the Opioid Crisis. During just one Take Back Day last year, 456 tons of prescription drugs were collected and safely removed.

Each Take Back Day is also an opportunity to encourage those with substance abuse issues to seek help. A local substance abuse treatment professional can be found using the anonymous locator at

The Sheboygan Police Department, 1315 N.23rd St. accepts prescription drugs for purposes of disposal every day of the year. For information, call 920-459-3333.

The next community Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 21, 2018 at St. Nicholas Hospital from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

If you’re not in the Sheboygan area you can search for you nearest sit on the DEA website and if you can’t make it to a Take Back site you can also search for sites in your area that accept drop-offs all year.