In Garrett County, Every Day is a Good Day to Get Rid of Unwanted Prescription Drugs
Saturday, October 28, is National Drug Take Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration is giving the public its 14th opportunity in 7 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
In Garrett County, three permanent drop boxes are available for disposal of pills: Oakland Town Hall (8:30-4:30), Garrett County Sheriff’s Office (24/7), and McHenry State Police Barrack (24/7). These locations cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last April Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
The local drop boxes are provided by Garrett County Drug Free Communities Coalition to prevent prescription and opioid abuse in cooperation with the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State Police, Oakland Town Hall, the Behavioral Health Administration, and SAMSHA. For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 28th Take Back Day call Sadie Liller at the Garrett County Health Department at 301-334-7730 or 301-895-3111, or visit the DEA Diversion website.