April 27 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Publisher’s note: According to the California Poison Control website, there are no agencies participating in this year’s collection event. However, unused and expired prescription drugs may be disposed of in a collection box in the lobby of the Susanville Police Department. There is also a “Sharps” collection box for syringes and hypodermic needles at the Susanville Fire Department (that site does not accept medications).  Despite that, information in this story may be of interest and value to our readers.

California Poison Control System reminds people to mark their calendars for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Held Saturday, April 27, the day is an important event offering a safe, convenient, responsible, and anonymous way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs in locations throughout the country (click here to find a collection site location near you).

“Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a day-long event that helps people safely and properly dispose of expired and unused prescription medications,” said Dr. Rais Vohra, Medical Director for the Fresno/Madera Division of CPCS. “But it’s also important for people to know that it is vital to take the proper safety precautions with medications year round.”

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day offers people the opportunity to safely dispose of unneeded prescription medicines. Anyone, whether or not it’s the person for whom the medications were prescribed, can safely and anonymously drop off their unused or expired medicines.

According to CPC’s website, there are no locations in Susanville or Lassen County participating in this year’s event.

When a take back option is not easily available, CPCS urges people to store and dispose of medicine safely 

  • Store medicine in a locked cabinet, out of sight and reach of children.
  • Keep all medicine in their original container with child-resistant caps. Remember, child-resistant caps are not child-proof!
  • After each use, make sure the medicine cap is on tight, and return to a locked cabinet.
  • Follow directions on the medicine label and check for the expiration date.
  • Safely dispose of all medicines that are expired or not being used.
  • Do not throw medicine in the trash or down the toilet unless instructed to do so on the medicine label.

If Prescription Drug Take Back Day has ended, find a safe medicine disposal site near you here.
Additionally, to protect you and your family when taking prescription medications and over-the-counter medicines, CPCS encourages people to follow these important safety tips.

Take medicine safely
When used as prescribed or as directed on the label, prescription and OTC medicines are generally safe. But if not used correctly, there can be serious side effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adverse drug events, defined as harm resulting from medication use, cause more than one million visits to the ER annually in the U.S. Here are some ways to ensure you don’t become a statistic:

  • Use and dispose of prescription and OTC drugs as directed.
  • Read all labels and follow directions.
  • Take the right amount of medicine at the right time.
  • Check with your doctor before taking herbal supplements or vitamins.
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, check with your doctor before taking any medicine.

Prevent poisoning from medicine
Medicines contain information on their labels about ingredients, uses, drug interactions, warnings, and directions. It is important to read labels carefully and understand their information.

Grandparents or other persons taking medicine need to be mindful when having children over to their home or visiting a home with children. Child proof your home from access to any toxic substances. Also, bags or purses with personal items that could be harmful to a child need to be kept out of their sight and reach.

Follow thesw tips below to prevent poisoning from medicine for both children and adults:

  • Do not take medicine when children are watching.
  • Do not call medicine candy in front of children.
  • Do not take medicine in the dark, where you cannot clearly see the medicine and its container.
  • Never take any medicine that was not prescribed to you.
  • Never share your medicine with anyone else.

About CPCS
Call Poison Control at (800) 222-1222 (number is the same in all states) for questions about poison encounters. Trained pharmacists, nurses and other providers are available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is free, confidential and interpreters are available. Get weekly tips about safety by texting TIPS to 20121 for English or texting PUNTOS to 20121 for Spanish. Follow CPCS on Facebook and on Twitter @poisoninfo. CPCS is part of the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy and is responsible to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.