News Release - National Prescription Drug Take Back Day (Saturday, April 30, 2022)

For Immediate Release:                    
Wednesday, April 27, 2022       

Contact: Susie Sher (515) 725-0308

Iowans Urged to Dispose of Unused Medication During Spring Cleaning

DES MOINES – Governor Kim Reynolds and the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy encourage Iowans to clean out their medicine cabinets and participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 30th.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs. In addition to protecting the environment from improper medication disposal, and amid the nation’s opioid epidemic, the DEA-sponsored Take Back program helps prevent the dangerous misuse of opioid pain relievers and other prescription drugs.

“Prescription drug and opioid abuse is an all-too-common problem in Iowa, and we can all do our part to help put an end to it,” said Gov. Reynolds. “I encourage all Iowans to do some spring cleaning in their medicine cabinets and properly dispose of unused prescription drugs through this free, anonymous take-back event. Help us put a stop to any unnecessary and tragic addictions and overdoses.”

Prescription opioid use is a risk factor for heroin use, and heroin in combination with fentanyl is leading to more overdose deaths. Although Iowa ranks relatively low in rates of illicit drug use and overdose deaths, preliminary Iowa Department of Public Health data show opioid-involved overdoses claimed the lives of 258 Iowans last year, up 64% over the last two years. National data show teen overdose deaths nearly doubled during that same period.

Iowa law enforcement agencies, pharmacies and others are teaming up to collect leftover prescription drugs, as part of this special one-day event held each spring and fall. The fall collection, held in October, netted over 6,000 pounds of old medicine from Iowans. As part of the national Prescription Drug Take Back program, the DEA also allows the collection of vaping devices and e-cigarettes from individuals, if batteries are first removed from the devices.

Saturday’s National Prescription Drug Take Back events will operate from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at designated sites in over 75 communities across Iowa. Nearly 400 permanent pharmacy and law enforcement center sites available on a year-round basis. For details, including education information and nearby collection sites, go to: https://odcp.Iowa.gov/RxTakeBacks.

“Prescription Drug Take Back Day is also a good time for families to connect with youth and talk about why it’s important not to consume medicines, unless they’re from a trusted adult,” said Dale Woolery, Director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy. “Preventing drug misuse at an early age can pay off long-term too, helping to avert other substance use, addiction and overdose later in life.”

Iowans can get help for substance use disorders at www.YourLifeIowa.org.