Attorney General Fox Encourages Montanans to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

On Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Montana Department of Justice, local law enforcement agencies, tribal law enforcement agencies, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its fifteenth opportunity in eight years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of unused prescription drugs.

Montanans are invited to bring their unwanted prescription pills and patches for free, anonymous, no-questions-asked disposal at one of 21 participating collection sites across the state.

“Nearly 30,000 pounds of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications have been collected at Montana National Take Back Day events since 2010,” Attorney General Tim Fox said.  “I encourage all Montanans to proactively dispose of their unused and expired prescription drugs at a Take Back Day location this Saturday or at a permanent take back box near them.”  Attorney General Fox added that as part of his Aid Montana initiative, three new drug incinerators were installed recently.  The incinerators, located in Butte, Great Falls, and Billings, are used to safely destroy prescription drugs turned into local law enforcement take back boxes, and are invaluable in keeping unwanted medications out of Montana’s communities and water supplies.

Cities hosting Take Back events include  Billings, Bozeman, Browning, Butte, Cut Bank, Dillon, Glendive, Great Falls, Harlowton, Helena, Kalispell, Lincoln, Livingston, Miles City, Missoula, Roundup, Stevensville, and Whitefish.  To view the details of each event, visit www.dea.gov. This site will be continuously updated with new participating locations.

The following items cannot be accepted at Take Back events: Illegal drugs, chemotherapy drugs, needles, sharps, mercury (thermometers), oxygen containers, pressurized canisters, and radioactive substances.

Montanans who cannot make it to a Take Back Day event, or who do not live in one of the cities hosting a Take Back event, can dispose of their unwanted medications by visiting one of over 50 permanent drug drop box locations across the state.  The complete list of permanent drug drop box locations in Montana is available at http://resolvemontana.org/.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back event addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Nationwide, a total of 900,386 pounds, or 450 tons, were brought to 5,498 collection sites last April.  Studies show many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away; both potential safety and health hazards.

To learn more about substance abuse in Montana, visit the Montana Department of Justice’s Substance Use in Montana Report.