County Law Enforcement, Health Department to Participate in Next Week’s Prescription Take-Back Day
Montgomery County residents have a safe, free and anonymous opportunity to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs as part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 29.
Montgomery County law enforcement agencies and the county’s Department of Health and Human Services will be participating in the national event, which is meant to prevent the increasing problems of prescription drug abuse and theft, according to a statement from Montgomery County police.
Medicines can languish in home cabinets where they can be misused and abused, a Gaithersburg police statement said. Rates of U.S. prescription drug abuse are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses because of these drugs.
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 to our water supply, police said.
If it is safe to flush a drug down a toilet or pour down a sink, the drug label or prescription information will say so. Disposing of prescription drugs through a drug take-back day is the safest option.
Fifteen drop-off locations will be available between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. accepting prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications only. Liquids, illicit drugs, needles, sharps and syringes cannot be accepted as part of the program. Officers will staff collection boxes in the parking lots of the following facilities or in the facility lobbies:
- Chevy Chase Village Police Station, 5906 Connecticut Ave.;
- MCP 2nd District Police at Village of Friendship Heights Community Center, 4433 S. Park Ave.;
- MCP 1st District Station/Public Safety Headquarters, 100 Edison Park Drive;
- MCP 6th District Station, 45 West Watkins Mill Road;
- Gaithersburg Police Station, 14 Fulks Corner Ave.;
- Asbury Methodist Village — lobby of Hefner Building, 417 Russell Ave.;
- MCP 5th District Station, 20000 Aircraft Drive;
- Churchill Senior Living, 21000 Father Hurley Blvd.;
- Rockville City Police/Montgomery County Sheriff’s — lobby of Rockville City Police Station, 2 W. Montgomery Ave.;
- Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack, 7915 Montrose Road;
- Bender Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Road;
- MCP 3rd District Station, 1002 Milestone Drive;
- Schweinhaut Senior Center, 1000 Forest Glen Road;
- Takoma Park Police at Takoma Park City Building Lobby, 7500 Maple Ave.; and
- MCP 4th District Station, 2300 Randolph Road;
In addition, since June 2014, the Gaithersburg Police Station lobby has had a Prescription Drop Box, accessible throughout the year from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
All sites will take pills and medication patches of all kinds, police said. Residents are encouraged to bring in medications containing controlled substances but take-back locations will accept any medications brought for disposal.
If possible, remove or black out personal information from prescription labels; however, pill bottles will still be accepted if the labels are attached. No questions will be asked. This is an opportunity to safely empty out a medicine cabinet of drugs that are no longer needed.
Drugs should not be thrown in the trash unless specific safety precautions for safe disposal are followed. The County’s Division of Solid Waste Services offers these suggestions:
- Place unwanted or expired medication into a plastic bag (with a seal) or other empty container with a lid to prevent liquid medications from leaking out.
- Mix with kitty litter, coffee grounds or sawdust. (Liquid medications can be solidified using kitty litter or sawdust.)
- Seal the bag and/or container.
- Crush pills or tablets.
- Put the container and/or bag containing the medication into your regular household trash.
- Remove the label with the patient’s name from the original medicine vial or bottle.
- Place the empty plastic vial or bottle into your blue County recycling bin. Empty aerosol inhalers can also be recycled in recycling bins.
All the returned medications on Drug Take-Back day will be incinerated according to federal and state environmental guidelines.