Safely dispose of unused prescription drugs on Sept. 26
Area residents will have a chance to get rid of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs in September for free as part of a drug disposal effort.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 26, pills and patches can be delivered to the Montana Highway Patrol office, 812 14th St. N. Liquid medicines, needles or sharps cannot be accepted. Other items that cannot be turned in include nonprescription medicine, mercury thermometers, medical/first aid supplies or chemotherapy drugs.
The service is free and anonymous and no questions are asked.
The rate of prescription drug abuse in the United States is rising at an alarming rate, as is the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family members and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
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.
“Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat,” said Carol Bronson, NeighborWorks Great Falls Community Engagement Coordinator. “People should clean out their medicine cabinets to help make their homes more safe from theft and drug misuse.”
The local drug take-back is part of both a state and national take-back program. In 2010, the NeighborWorks Great Falls Community Leadership Institute team chose to focus its project on the problem of prescription drug abuse. The team formed Operation Medicine Cabinet: Central Montana, a community consortium of the NeighborWorks Great Falls Community Leadership Team, Montana Highway Patrol, Great Falls Police Department, the county attorney’s office, Cascade County sheriff’s office and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
Operation Medicine Cabinet: Central Montana developed one of the western United States’ first through-the-wall prescription drug drop boxes, open 24 hours, seven days a week.
In the previous nine DEA Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2014, more than 4.8 million pounds, or 2.4 tons of drugs were collected. The Montana Highway Patrol has collected approximately 2,000 pounds of drugs per year since the Great Falls drop box opened in 2012.
WHAT: Montana Highway Patrol 10th Prescription Drug Take-Back
WHEN: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 26
WHERE: 812 14th St. N.
INFORMATION? Call 453-1121 or visit nwgf.org/op-meds