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Get rid of unused drugs this Saturday on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

In medicine cabinets throughout South Texas, households have unused or expired prescription drugs that could be dangerous for an unintended user. Some drugs, including painkillers or narcotics, could lead to an overdose or injury.

Our University Health Pharmacy team provides medications to promote good health and they want to ensure the drugs are not misused. That is why they are actively encouraging anyone with unneeded drugs to dispose of them responsively this Saturday, April 22, on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has a list of free Take Back Day medication drop-off sites, while the City of San Antonio provides a list of pharmacies that also allow medication drop-off. Enter your Zip code on their websites to find nearby locations for disposing of unused medications from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday. The sites will update with drop-off locations available throughout the year. You can also dispose of unused prescription drugs at six University Health pharmacy locations.

“When disposing of unused medications, scratch out all personal, identifying information on the label. This will help protect the privacy of your health information,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, executive director of pharmacy and ambulatory services at University Health. 

Rodriguez recommends you then follow DEA disposal recommendations that call for placing the drugs in leak-free containers with a substance like coffee grounds or kitty litter that will render the drugs unfit to use.

Flushing drugs down drains and toilets can also negatively affect the environment and drinking water, as wastewater treatment facilities may not be able to remove pharmaceuticals. Using the drop-off sites this Saturday is a safer alternative.

University Health Pharmacy staff are available Thursday and Friday to talk with media about how best to get rid of unused drugs and why proper disposal can prevent harmful abuse of medications.

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