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Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday

Ken MammarellaGovernment, Headlines, Health

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Delaware will hold its 21st Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday. (Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash)

Delawareans looking to discard expired or unused medications can drop them off at locations around the state thanks to a collaboration between the Delaware Division of Public Health and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Dropoff locations will accept medications Saturday, Oct. 23 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

For a complete list of dropoff locations, see the bottom of this article.

The statewide event is aimed at reducing the risk of prescription medications being diverted for misuse. Similar events have resulted in more than 100,000 pounds of medications being collected in Delaware since 2010.

According to the DEA, during the last Prescription Drug Take-Back Day held in April, Delawareans visited 25 participating locations, in coordination with 19 law enforcement agencies, and returned 5,167 pounds of unused medications.

Medications being disposed of on Prescription Drug Take-Back Day must be in a container such as a pill bottle, box, blister pack, or zipped plastic bag, with personal information removed. Liquid medications must be in their original containers. Needles, aerosols, biohazard materials, medical equipment and batteries will not be accepted.

“Properly discarding unused medications is an important component of addressing the nationwide opioid epidemic,” the DPH said in a press release. “It reduces the risk of addiction by keeping prescription medications out of the hands of people who may misuse, abuse or sell them and it helps reduce the risk of drug overdoses.”

In 2020, 447 people died in Delaware from a drug overdose — a 3.7 percent increase from the 431 reported in 2019 by the Delaware Division of Forensic Science. In the first half of 2021, 266 people have died in Delaware from a suspected drug overdose, according to DFS.

“The abundance of unused drugs in our medicine cabinets and communities has helped to fuel the opioid epidemic,” said DPH director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “By turning in your no-longer-needed prescription medications safely on Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, you can help fight the epidemic in Delaware while also making your home safer.”

In 2020, 45.2 retail opioid prescriptions were dispensed for every 100 people in Delaware, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The rate of retail opioid prescriptions dispensed for every 100 people was 53.2 in Sussex County, 46.8 in New Castle County and 29.7 in Kent County, according to the CDC.

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019. 

The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition to the sites participating in October’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day activities, there are 28 permanent medication drop-off locations across the state available year-round. Six of Delaware’s permanent drop-off sites are in Walgreens pharmacies, and the other 22 are located in local law enforcement agencies. For a list of permanent collection sites, visit this link.

Unused or expired prescriptions may be returned Saturday, Oct. 23 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the following locations:

Kent County
  • Camden Police Department — 1783 Friends Way, Camden, DE 19934
  • Dover AFB Commissary — 268 Galaxy St, Dover, DE 19902
New Castle County
  • Delaware City Police Department — 407 Clinton St, Delaware City, DE 19706
  • Middletown Police Department — 130 Hampden Rd, Middletown, DE 19709
  • New Castle County Airport — 151 N Dupont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19720
  • Christiana Care Surgicenter — 4755 Ogletown Stanton Rd, Newark, DE 19713
  • Newark Police Department — 220 S Main St, Newark, DE 19711
  • Wilmington VA Medical Center — 1601 Kirkwood Hwy, Wilmington, DE 19805
  • Shipley Manor Assisted Living — 2723 Shipley Rd, Wilmington, DE 19810
Sussex County
  • Lewes Board of Public Works — 107 Franklin Ave, Lewes, DE 19958
  • Milford Police Department — 400 NE Front St, Milford, DE 19963
  • Polaris Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center — 21 W Clarke Ave, Milford, DE 19963
  • Milton Police Department — 101 Federal St, Milton, DE 19968
  • Ocean View Police Department — 201 Central Ave, Ocean View, DE 19970
  • Selbyville Town Hall — 1 Church St, Selbyville, DE 19975
  • Selbyville CVS — 36252 Lighthouse Rd, Selbyville, DE 19975

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