Saturday April 27 is national prescription drug “Take Back Day,” and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem encourages North Dakotans to check their medicine cabinets and dispose of any unused or expired medications in the Take Back containers serving their local community.
Over seven hundred pounds of OxyContin, Fentanyl, Prozac, and other controlled drugs were destroyed in a controlled burn last week, reported Stenehjem. The drugs were collected over just the past four months from the state’s Take Back program.
North Dakota is still the only state in the nation operating a year-round state-wide prescription drug disposal program. Since the Take Back program launched in December 2009, more than 4,680 pounds – or 2.3 tons – of unused medications have been collected and destroyed.
“From the beginning, the public support of this program has been overwhelming. Not only are we keeping these medications from being sold to our kids, but by disposing of the drugs properly instead of flushing them or putting them in the trash, we are protecting the state’s resources from potential contamination,” said Stenehjem.
In response to public demand, four new Take Back sites were added in 2012, in Beach, Mohall, Rolla and Hettinger. The Take Back program is currently operating in 25 communities across 20 counties, and reaches over 80% of the state’s population.
Residents wishing to hold special “Take Back” events or request a permanent Take Back disposal site in their community should contact their local law enforcement agency.
More information about the state’s Take Back program is available on the “Prescription Drug” link on the Attorney General’s website, www.ag.nd.gov.
Many local pharmacies participate in the “Take Away” program, which provides free disposal of medications that are not controlled substances.
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