The next National Take Back Day will be Saturday, April 24, 2021 at Greene County General Hospital from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This event is a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired medications, prescription drugs and vaping devices. Participants can drive up to the hospital’s main lobby and a hospital representative will meet them at their vehicle to take the medications. Participants are asked to not leave their vehicles and to wear a mask.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, at its last Take Back Day in October 2020, DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs. Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
The public can drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at GCGH, to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement. GCGH representatives will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. GCGH will also accept vaping devices and cartridges, provided lithium batteries are removed.
Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. To safely dispose of used sharps such as needles or devices used to manage medical conditions that can puncture or cut skin, place them in a strong plastic container such as a laundry detergent bottle, seal and label the container, and discard in the trash. All used sharps must be containerized before discarding in the trash to ensure the safety of those handling trash. For more information visit safeneedledisposal.org
Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one-way GCGH is working with the DEA to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths.