Prescription drug abuse is a major problem across the nation, as well as in North Dakota. We can each do our part to reduce that abuse, including properly disposing of any unused or unwanted prescription medications in our own medicine cabinets. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 54 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers obtain them from a friend or relative. Disposing of unwanted medications also cuts down on the potential for accidental poisoning and misuse.
National Drug Take Back Day takes place Saturday, April 28 and more than 150 locations across the state of North Dakota will be accepting unwanted and unused medications. Most of the sites take back drugs every day, as North Dakota is the only state in the nation operating free, year-round, statewide prescription drug disposal programs at local law enforcement agencies and pharmacies. Several of these locations are available 24 hours a day.
Accepted medications include:
- Pills, tablets, caplets (please remove from packaging)
- Inhalers, nebulizer solutions, liquids and creams (leave in original container)
- Controlled substances, such as Ambien, Vicodin and Zoloft
Not-accepted medications include:
- Sharps (syringes, lancets), thermometers, glass, home-based care (HBC) or durable medical equipment (DME) supplies and pharmacy inventory.
Since the Take Back program began in North Dakota in December 2009, more than 10 tons of unused prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications have been collected and destroyed, according to the North Dakota Attorney General Office.