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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is April 26, 2014

The federal government is asking consumers to turn in expired and unused pharmaceutical products on April 26, 2014.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has designated April 26, 2014, National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Part of the DEA Office of Diversion Control's National Take-Back Initiative, the day provides consumers an opportunity to turn over unused and expired pharmaceutical products to the DEA for safe disposal.

Consumers interested in turning in drugs on April 26 can find a local point of collection by using the DEA's online tool. Law enforcement agencies interested in hosting a collection should contact their local point of collection, which they can find on the DEA's list. Points of collection in Allentown include

  • South Whitehall Township Police Department at 4444 Walbert Avenue,
  • Walgreen's Pharmacy at 1702 West Tilghman Street,
  • South Mall at 3300 Lehigh Street,
  • Giant Food Store at 3015 West Emmaus Avenue,
  • Whitehall Township Police Department at 3731 Lehigh Street,
  • Catasauqua Police Department at 118 Bridge Street, and
  • Emmaus Police Department at 400 Jubilee Street

According to the DEA, the non-medical use of prescription drugs is the second most common form of drug abuse in the US (after marijuana use). The DEA also warns that "unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold" and that unused drugs flushed down the toilet contaminate the water supply. (This information is also available in Spanish.)

For individuals who have unused pharmaceuticals but are unable to take them to a participating location on April 26, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides the following guidance:

  • Take the drugs out of their original containers,
  • Mix them with an "undesirable substance" such as used cat litter or used coffee grounds, and
  • Put them in a sealable containers such as a Zip-Loc bag before placing them into your trash bag.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seconds this advice.

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