HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Have old, expired, unwanted, or unneeded medication? National Drug Take Back Day, April 24, is your chance to turn them in safely and anonymously.
Locations will be open across the Tennessee Valley for the safe disposal of unwanted drugs. According to the DEA, the most recent event in October 2020 brought in a record-high amount of expired, unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs. In the programs 10 year history, more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs have been collected.
DEA and its partner agencies will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop off locations provided lithium batteries are removed.
Participants are encouraged to remove labels or black-out information on containers before turning them in.
Where can I go to drop off unwanted medication?
Tennessee Valley locations:
Madison County Sat. April 24, 2021, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
- CVS in Meridianville
- Madison City Hall
- Huntsville Police Dept. Safety Complex
Jackson County Sat. April 24, 2021, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
- Jackson County Sheriff's Office
Marshall County Sat. April 24, 2021, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
- Walmart parking lot at 11697 U.S. 431 in Guntersville
Cullman County Sat. April 24, 2021, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
- Cullman County Sheriff's Office Training Building
Colbert County Sat. April 24, 2021, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
- Muscle Shoals Police Dept.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 87,200 Americans dying as a result of a drug overdose in a one-year period (Sept. 1, 2019 to Sept. 1, 2020), the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, accelerating significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
“The rate of prescription drug abuse in the United States is alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs, said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brad Byerley. “Unfortunately, these prescription drugs are most often obtained from friends and family, who leave them in home medicine cabinets. Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce the addiction rates and overdose deaths plaguing this country. Please do your part to keep these drugs off the streets and help spread awareness in your community.”
“It’s important to keep our own homes safe by regularly cleaning out medicine cabinets and any other areas where we store our pharmaceuticals,” said Acting Administrator D. Christopher Evans. “Bringing unused or expired medications to a local collection site for safe disposal helps protect your loved ones and the environment.”
Turning in medications at Take Back events also helps the environment. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall says, "It's important environmentally that medicines be disposed of in a proper manner rather than simply being thrown into garbage, flushed away or poured down drains, as they could contaminate water supplies and cause an environmental hazard."