Get rid of old, unused prescriptions on National Drug Take Back Day

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — They can be dangerous and even deadly, and they’re probably sitting in your medicine cabinet. Prescription medicines. They are highly susceptible to diversion, abuse, and misuse. They could easily end up in the hands of someone you care about, who is struggling with addiction.

“Whether it’s a child who gets into it because the product is laying around or if it’s a senior or another person who might be confused about taking the wrong medication. It all makes sense to just try to get rid of all of the access and unwanted, unnecessary medication in your home,” said Gail Banach, Upstate NY Poison Center’s Director of Public Education and Communications.

Rates of prescription drug abuse are alarmingly high, as are the number of poisonings and overdoses. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

“If there’s no reason to be in our homes, let’s clean up the medicine cabinet. Let’s clean up storage containers. That lockbox, wherever you have medicines, get rid of those you don’t want,” encourages Banach.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, October 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local police departments and drug stores across Central New York are partnering to provide this free opportunity for residents to dispose of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Enter your information in the form below to find a location near you:

Last year’s Drug Take Back Day turned in nearly 883,000 pounds of prescription drugs across the U.S. Since 2010, the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative, the DEA and law enforcement partners have collected nearly 6,350 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications.

There are other options to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day as well. In Onondaga County, 11 police departments have partnered with Onondaga Community College and SUNY Environmental School of Forestry (SUNY ESF) to make medicine boxes available. Most collect sharps or needles as well. Residents can drop off their old, expired, or unused medications and used hypodermic needles, sharps, and lancets at sites around the county during regular business hours year-round.

Check the list below for everyday drop off locations in Onondaga County:


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