Clean Out The Cabinets: National ‘Drug Take Back Day’ is April 24

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Clean out the cabinets, drawers and other cubby holes, the next national “Drug Take Back Day” is Saturday.

The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy encourages Kentuckians to participate in the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day scheduled nationwide on April 24, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET.

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“Up to 80% of patients have leftover opioids after elective surgery. It is important to dispose of all unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs so they don’t get into the wrong hands.  Drug abuse is a very real problem in our area and we want to do everything we can to help eliminate this temptation,” said Lynn McArthur, a phamacist at Baptist Health Corbin.

“In 2019, we lost 1,316 Kentucky residents to overdose deaths, with a significant number of those overdose deaths caused by opioids,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Every step we make to prevent a loved one from misusing or abusing prescription drugs is worth the fight. National Prescription Drug Take Back Drug is one of those easy steps we can make to protect all Kentuckians.”

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

“Every year Kentucky participates in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at locations across the commonwealth, such as the local health department, convenience stores and law enforcement agencies,” said ODCP Executive Director Van Ingram. “With it being spring time, now is a great time to clean out our medicine cabinets, and this nationwide day is a good reminder for all of us to safely dispose of any expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs.”

In years past, Kentucky has collected more than 160,000 pounds of prescription medications during this event.

In Lexington, the Take Back Day event is 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24 at Kentucky
American Water, 2300 Richmond Rd.

Officers from the local DEA office, Lexington Police Department and Fayette County Sheriff’s office will be on hand to take unwanted items.

“Opioid addiction is a public safety and public health issue,” said Brendan Fitzpatrick of the Lexington DEA office. “We need everyone to do their part in keeping potentially dangerous prescription drugs out of the wrong hands. Bring your unused and expired medication to Take Back Day for safe disposal.”

Items accepted at Take Back Day:
 prescription and over-the-counter pills
 vitamins
 medicated ointments and lotions
 pet medication
Liquids, aerosol cans and needles are not accepted at Take Back Day.

In the fall of 2020, Americans turned in 460 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at
thousands of drop-off sites across the country during the spring take back event. In Lexington, 430 cars came through the line and ultimately turned in 2,064 pounds of medication.

Many pharmacies and hospitals offer permanent drop boxes where residents can dispose of
prescription medication.

For a list of locations that will be participating this year, visit ODCP’s website.

Kentuckians who are unable to make it to one of the event locations on April 24 can safely dispose of their prescription drugs at 193 different drug disposal locations throughout 116 counties. To find a prescription drug disposal location, click here.