MedStar Health Collecting Unwanted Prescriptions for National Drug Take Back Day

MedStar Health Collecting Unwanted Prescriptions for National Drug Take Back Day

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A MedStar pharmacist wearing a mask, sits at a table and gives a thumbs up at an event to take back unused drugs and pharmaceutical paraphenalia for safe disposal.

Collection drive will be held at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Oct. 28.

WASHINGTON — MedStar Health is participating in a national effort by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to help people dispose of unwanted prescription drugs. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, Oct. 28.

“MedStar Health is strongly dedicated to patient safety. We hope this effort will help to address the drug overdose crisis which is a serious public health challenge in our communities,” said Bonnie Levin, PharmD, MBA, FASHP, assistant vice president of Pharmacy Services for MedStar Health. “As pharmacy professionals we understand the seriousness of opioid abuse and we’re committed to doing everything we can to raise awareness and prevent its tragic consequences.”

Experts warn that expired prescription medications can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse if not disposed of properly. This includes drugs that are thrown in the trash, retrieved, and illegally sold. According to the DEA, the non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks secondly only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America.

In addition to being an important patient safety issue, there are environmental benefits to the proper disposal of prescription and over-the-counter medications, which people often flush down the toilet.

MedStar Health’s National Take Back Day collection drive will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 at:

MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital
102 Irving St. NW
Washington, DC, 20010

The public is encouraged to drop off prescription and non-prescription tablets and capsules, ointments and creams, liquid suspensions, inhalers, and medications for pets. These items may be stored in the medicine cabinets of surgical patients who were prescribed opioids for pain, cancer patients as well as families who recently lost a loved one who was prescribed pain medications.

According to the DEA, National Take Back Day in April 2023 netted 332 tons of unwanted prescription medications at 4,955 collection sites across the United States. The total all time weight collected is 8,650 tons in the past 24 National Take Back Day events.

Receptacles stationed at MedStar Health locations across the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore regions are also available year-round. To find the DEA drop-off collection location closest to you, please visit