Utah taking back unwanted, expired prescription drugs

Washington County participates in National Drug Take-Back Day, St. George, Utah, Sept. 27, 2014 | Photo by Brett Barrett, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Utahns can prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs at the “Utah Take Back” program Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at locations statewide including 12 in Southern Utah.

“Prescription drug abuse, particularly for painkillers, has risen to epidemic levels nationwide, and Utah is no exception,” said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. “Prescription drugs, when administered and taken responsibly, can be a productive tool for pain management. But far too often, what begins innocently can lead to dependence and devastation.

“In addition to overprescription, unauthorized access to even properly prescribed painkillers is one of the biggest drivers toward addiction. Many users of street drugs like heroin start by abusing their own painkillers, then move to finding other people’s prescription drugs,” Reyes said. “Addicts may be soccer moms or executives. They can be our kids, grandkids, kids from the block, good students or bad students included.

“No community is immune. Addiction touches rural and urban areas, uptown or downtown neighborhoods alike. And whether we realize it or not, our medicine cabinets may be where they are looking next or where they may have already been,” he added. “By teaming up on Take Back Day with partners like the DEA, AARP, and businesses and citizens across our state, we will recover hundreds, if not thousands of pounds of prescription drugs.”

Improper disposal of unused and expired medications leads to damage of our environment, Reyes noted.

In the fight against opioid addiction, eco-friendly reclamation bags have been donated at no cost to the state by private companies like Deterra and Mallinckrodt to thousands of Utah Take Back locations around the state.

The bags can be filled with any pills, which they will dissolve and neutralize. Measurable amounts of antibiotics, antidepressants, and medications have all been found in U.S. lakes and rivers.

The eco-friendly, medication disposal system produced and donated for use by Utah Take Back is highly effective in absorbing and firmly binding pharmaceuticals, rendering chemical compounds safe for landfills and reducing watershed contamination.

Utahns can prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Southern Utah Take Back locations

Iron County

Cedar City Police Department – Utah Take Back Day Only
10 N. Main Street, Cedar City
Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Cedar City Police Department – Permanent Dropbox Location
10 N. Main Street, Cedar City
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed holidays

Smith’s Food And Drug – Utah Take Back Day Only
633 S. Main Street, Cedar City
Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Washington County

Dixie State University Police – Permanent Dropbox Location
300 S. 800 East, St. George
Monday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Hurricane City Police Department – Permanent Dropbox Location
90 S. 700 West, Hurricane
Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (closed 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.); Fridays 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (closed 12 p.m. – 1p.m.), closed holidays

Lins Market – Utah Take Back Day Only
1120 W. State Street, Hurricane
Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

River Road Clinic Pharmacy – Intermountain Community Pharmacy
Permanent Dropbox Location
577 S. River Road, St. George
Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Smith’s – Utah Take Back Day Only
20 N. Bluff Street, Saint George
Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

St. George City Police Department – Permanent Dropbox Location
265 N. 200 East, St. George

Washington City Police Department – Permanent Dropbox Location
95 N. Main Street, Washington
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed holidays

Washington County Sheriff’s Office – Permanent Dropbox Location
750 S. 5300 W. Hurricane
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed holidays

Watson Dixie Pharmacy – Intermountain Community Pharmacy
Permanent Dropbox Location
1380 E. South Medical Center Drive #1200, St. George
Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

For more information and to find a collection site near you, visit www.utahtakeback.org.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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