AG Fox Asks Montanans to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
HELENA – On Saturday, September 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Montana Department of Justice, local law enforcement agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its ninth opportunity in four years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Montanans are invited to bring their unwanted prescription pills and patches for free, anonymous, no-questions-asked disposal at one of over 15 participating sites across the state. The following items cannot be accepted at the Take-Back events: Illegal drugs, chemotherapy drugs, needles, sharps, mercury (thermometers), oxygen containers, pressurized canisters, and radioactive substances.
“Montanans play a vital role in combating prescription drug diversion, abuse and misuse in our communities,” said Attorney General Tim Fox. “By bringing your old and unused medications to a Take-Back event or a permanent drug drop box location, you ensure those substances will be disposed of safely and responsibly, and will not cause harm to someone they’re not prescribed for.”
Last April, Americans turned in 390 tons (over 780,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,400 of its state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected during the previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 4.1 million pounds—more than 2,100 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Cities hosting Take-Back events include Anaconda, Butte, Big Timber, Bozeman, Colstrip, Cut Bank, Dillon, Glendive, Great Falls, Harlowton, Helena, Lame Deer, Miles City, Missoula, Superior and West Yellowstone. For details, contact your local law enforcement agency.
A list of permanent drug drop box locations in Montana is available at https://dojmt.gov/prescriptiondrugabuse/operation-medicine-cabinet/.