Drug Take Back Day – Saturday

by beth on April 26, 2022

Post image for Drug Take Back Day – Saturday

Above: Take advantage of the SPD’s MedReturn bin to rid your home of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs (images cropped from flyer and Facebook post)

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is holding a Drug Take Back Day this Saturday.

On April 30th from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, the public is encouraged to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. You can drop them off at safe Take Back locations. In Southborough, that is the MedReturn bin at the Southborough Police station. 

Drug takeback day flyerThe DEA launched Drug Take Back Days 12 years ago. In a past year, the Southborough Police Department announced:

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.

More recently, the SPD noted on Facebook that the public is able to turn drugs in 24 hours a day, 7 days per week thanks to the collection bin located in the lobby of Southborough’s Public Safety Building. 

The Facebook post also shared more reasons to care about the issue:

Old prescriptions left unsecured in the home can often be an easy source for someone thinking about abusing prescription medications, and can pose a danger to pets or children who may accidentally ingest them. They can also be confusing for elderly people who may have multiple prescriptions.

Throwing old pills in the trash is often not the safest way to dispose of old medication, and flushing medications may contaminate the water supply.

While the MedReturn bin is always available, the special Take Back Day is to raise awareness and prompt action. As part of a Civics Action initiative at Trottier Middle School, an 8th grader reached out to me with a flyer and details, asking me to let readers know.

You can find more details and other drop off locations here.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 resident April 26, 2022 at 10:24 AM

I have gone to the bin many times to dispose of old medications and each time, the bin has been closed. They post a sign saying it is not in service. It would be nice to have a place that is readily available as some medications have to be handled appropriately. Good to know that the bin is back up and working.

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2 beth April 28, 2022 at 1:35 PM

I checked in with the SPD. I’m told that the MedReturn bin has been emptied in time for this event. As for it not being in service, Lt. Ryan Newell informed me that it unfortunately frequently fills up. He explained that people often deposit items that are specified on the bin as not belonging there:

For example, we have had multiple, large Vitamin bottles; over the counter pain relief bottles (Tylenol, Advil, etc), pill cases, other medical supplies, etc. being dropped into the prescription drug drop box. These items, due to their size, cause the box to fill up fast- therefore not leaving enough room for the prescription drugs to be deposited.

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3 resident April 28, 2022 at 3:02 PM

So to clarify, do they not want vitamins or OTC medications in the bin. The sign on the front of the bin says those are acceptable. Or, do they want all medications out of the packaging? Certainly I can see people depositing things to err on the side of caution but if he is specifically talking about those items, they are listed as acceptable. Thanks for the information and clarification.

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4 beth April 28, 2022 at 5:39 PM

Good question. I found a larger photo of the bin online and saw that it does list accepting vitamins and “over the counter medications”. It seems if that is an issue or the bottle size is an issue, than a clarifying sign should be poste on it. I’ll point that out to Lt. Newell.

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5 resident May 5, 2022 at 8:41 AM

Thank you Beth. I was able to dispose of all the old meds in my house. I appreciate your follow up and all you do for the town!

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