PIERRE – National Prescription Take-Back Day is Saturday, Oct. 28. It is an opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs. South Dakotans have been strong participants in the past and are encouraged to take part again.
Unwanted medications can be disposed of without question in a secure medication drop box at participating locations like pharmacies and police stations.
“Participating in the October 28 Take-Back Day event is something we can all do to responsibly guard against misuse of prescription drugs ,” said DSS Cabinet Secretary Matt Althoff. “We encourage you to bring unused, unwanted, or outdated prescription drugs you might have at home and to deposit them, no questions asked, in a secure drop box where they will be safely disposed of. This small measure may prevent drug abuse. For this, we thank you.”
The Spring National Take-Back Day on April 22 was extremely successful in South Dakota with 396 pounds of medication collected for destruction through participating law enforcement locations. This is in addition to the 1,123 pounds that was collected through the PharmaDrop take back program that same month.
For those who cannot make it to a take-back site, DisposeRx packets are available for free from DSS and can be mailed directly to you. DisposeRx packets contain an FDA-approved ingredient that, when mixed with water, chemically and physically neutralizes the medication so it can be safely thrown away at home. The packets work with pills, tablets, capsules, liquids, and powders.
To find the closest take-back locations or to order DisposeRx packets, visit https://www.avoidopioidsd.com/take-action/safe-medication-disposal/.
DSS is also offering free medication lock boxes to help safely store medications. They can be ordered at https://www.avoidopioidsd.com/take-action/medication-lock-boxes/.
According to the 2021 Nation Survey on Drug Use and Health, among the 9.2 million people that misused opioids in the past year, 8.7 million were misusing prescription pain relievers. With the increasing danger of fake pills and fentanyl laced pills, keeping any pills off the street, and off the illegal market, takes on added importance. If you come across pills or medication in a public place like a park or parking lot, do not touch them or pick them up. Call law enforcement and they will safely dispose of the item(s).
The South Dakota Department of Social Services is dedicated to strengthening families to foster health, wellbeing, and independence. For more information, please visit dss.sd.gov.