The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has established a permanent household medication take-back program, adding more than 42 drop-off locations in two dozen counties across the state.
In partnership with the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, the health department developed the program in response to the increased need for safe disposal of prescription medications. The average American household has four pounds of medications, including both prescription and over-the-counter medications drugs. At the same time, teen abuse of prescription medications is on the rise. Research shows almost 38 percent of teens who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from their parents’ medicine cabinet.
While safely disposing of medications helps reduce drug abuse, it also ensures they are not flushed down the toilet or thrown away, which can harm water quality and the environment.
“Prescription medication misuse and overdose numbers continue to climb, especially among youth. One simple thing we can all do to help is to dispose of our medications responsibly,” said Department Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wolk. “And it has the added benefit of protecting our water and environment.”
By the end of this year, the health department hopes to have at least one
drop off location in every Colorado county.
Needles, marijuana products and chemotherapy medication will not be accepted. The drop boxes are for household medications only. Health care facility waste will not be allowed.
To find a drop box location, go to takemedsback.org. Additional drop-off locations are still needed, so any pharmacy, law enforcement agency, medical clinic or hospital interested in participating should call 303-692-2903.