Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands.
That’s why the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is encouraging residents to drop off unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs at participating locations around the state during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday.
The national event organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is held twice each year provides a way for the public to dispose of prescription drugs while also increasing awareness about the risks of unused or expired medicines, including those that remain easily accessible in medicine cabinets.
“While it’s easy to overlook, leaving old or unused prescription medicines in your home can be associated with a lot of risks, including being mistaken for other medications and being abused by someone seeking recreational drugs,” DHEC Health regulations director Shelly Kelly said in a release.
Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained often unknowingly from family and friends. Take Back Day aims to restrict household drug theft, reduce childhood overdoses, limit the accumulation of drugs by the elderly and protect the environment from pharmaceutical contamination that can be caused by improper disposal of medications.
To find Take Back Day drop-off locations throughout South Carolina, visit takebackday.dea.gov and use the collection site locator. Medicines can be dropped off from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 at participating locations. The event is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
During the April 2018 Take Back Day, Americans turned in 474.5 tons of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 locations.