Safely dispose of drugs on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

MADISON, Wis.—April 14, 2021—Prescription drugs can be dangerous when they are used improperly. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is your chance to ensure that doesn't happen with your prescriptions.

An estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffer from an opioid use disorder. Opioids are one of the most widely abused prescription drugs. The National Institutes of Health outlines how addictive opioids are in chilling detail:

  • People who have opioid prescriptions who misuse them: 21-29%
  • People who take opioids for chronic pain who develop a disorder: 8-12%
  • People who misuse opioids that move on to heroin: 4-6%

“The human cost of opioid misuse and addiction is heartbreaking, as is the number of people who know someone who has been impacted by a prescription drug use disorder,” Dr. Jonah Fox, Medical Director at WPS Health Solutions, commented. “Everyone can do their part in fighting this problem by participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.”

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, you can take unused prescription drugs to collection sites across the country. Visit to locate a collection site near you.

Take Back Days happen twice a year and allow you to dispose of your prescription drugs safely and anonymously. It’s a great way to ensure they don’t get misused, lost, or stolen. During the most recent take back day, the Drug Enforcement Administration collected nearly a million pounds of prescription medication.

Accepted items at most locations include:

  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Ointments
  • Patches
  • Non-aerosol sprays
  • Inhalers
  • Creams
  • Vials
  • Pet medications

Some items are not accepted, including:

  • Needles and other sharps
  • Asthma inhalers
  • Mercury thermometers
  • Medications containing iodine
  • Illegal drugs
  • Aerosol cans

Check with your local collection sites if you have questions. Visit the Food and Drug Administration website to find out more about how to safely dispose of drugs.