Save lives this Take Back Day
October 28 is the next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Sponsored nationally by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), take-back events are held twice a year — in April and October — in communities nationwide. People can drop off unused or expired medications — with no questions asked — for free and safe disposal.
Drop off Oct. 28, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Mayo Clinic, in collaboration with the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, Olmsted Medical Center, Zumbro Valley Medical Society and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will host a community drop-off event to collect unused or expired medications.
Anyone can anonymously drop off medications in Rochester on Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mayo's Gonda Building, at the west entrance drop-off circle located at Third Ave. Southwest.
"DEA Take Back Day is a chance to clean out your medicine cabinets, safely discarding the last of the pain medicines left from that surgery three years ago or the antibiotics you didn't need," says Benjamin Lai, M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O., a family medicine physician and chair of Mayo Clinic's Opioid Stewardship Program. "You can also bring in the heartworm pills you used to give your old dog Rover or an expired flea and tick collar."
"And if your pup is riding with you to the Rochester event, we'll have a treat for him!"
Tell your friends
DEA Take Back events provide an opportunity to encourage friends and neighbors to safely discard unused, unneeded or unwanted medications — before they can cause harm.
"Misuse and abuse of prescription medications can lead to overdose and death," says Capt. Tim Parkin, Olmsted County Sheriff's Office. "By properly disposing of unused drugs, you contribute to the health and safety of our communities.
"Ensuring unused prescription medication and used needles are discarded responsibly is not just a matter of public safety, it's a crucial step in our community's response to the opioid crisis," said Olmsted County Public Health Services Director Denise Daniels. "It's important these dangerous substances do not end up in the wrong hands or harm our environment."
The community is encouraged to take advantage of the Take Back Day event to discard leftover medications and needles safely.
Olmsted County Environmental Resources is joining efforts to educate the community to ensure community members have the information they need to safely dispose of medical and other hazardous wastes throughout the year.
By following appropriate disposal practices for hazardous waste, we can ensure our community remains safe and healthy.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call the Olmsted County Diversity, Equity and Community Outreach Team at 507-328-6348 to be connected to treatment and recovery options.
Do your part
Prescription and over-the-counter medications may be disposed of at all Drug Take Back Day collection sites, including:
- Non-aerosol sprays.
Liquids must be in the original container. Pet medications are accepted. Vape pens and other e-cigarette devices are accepted, with the batteries removed.
If you cannot attend the Drug Take Back Day event in Olmsted County, look for a more convenient location on the DEA Take Back Day site locator. Check back closer to Oct. 28 for up-to-date listings.
You also can dispose of medications safely anytime in the prescription drug collection box at the Olmsted County Government Center. The box is in the vestibule of the Adult Detention Center and is accessible around the clock every day of the year. There are several other permanent drop locations in Rochester as well as in surrounding communities. The DEA's search tool can help you find a convenient location.