Prescription Drug Take-Back Day set


By Christine Bryant
Staff Writer

Look through your medicine cabinet and an old, half-used pill bottle may tumble out, leaving you wondering when you were last sick.

While you may be tempted to toss the unused prescription meds back into the closet or in the trash, local agencies have an alternative option.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Agency will hold its next Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 22. In Franklin County, several local law enforcement agencies, SWACO and retailers have partnered to provide residents the opportunity to safely drop off unwanted medication.

The last collection day held in April drew more than 3,550 pounds of medications – setting a new record and continuing the DEA’s efforts to educate the community about the potential for drug abuse and the importance of protecting the public’s health and environment through proper disposal.

Locations where residents may drop off their unwanted prescriptions on Oct. 22 are listed on the SWACO website.

However, there also are several permanent drug drop-off locations open year-round that accept dry pills, including the Reynoldsburg Police Department, 7240 E. Main St. Some locations collect other items as well, such as liquid medicines, inhalers, creams and patches, though residents are encouraged to call ahead to verify.

Reynoldsburg Police Chief Jim O’Neill says although special drop-off dates are scheduled throughout the year in Franklin County, he wanted to provide a place for Reynoldsburg residents to dispose of medication as soon as it was no longer needed.

“The diversion of prescription medication, particularly opiate-based painkillers, is a major problem across the country,” he said.

Abuse of these narcotics can be habit forming, O’Neill says, and in some cases, leads to heroin addiction.

“By providing a permanent drop-off location, we can remove this surplus medication from the equation and hopefully reduce the number of drug-related incidents,” he said.

The Reynoldsburg Police Department has the in-house capability to dispose of thousands of doses of surplus medication through the use of a special incinerator.

“Last year we took in enough medication, ranging from heavy dose narcotics to acid reflux medicine, to fill several one-gallon containers,” O’Neill said. “While not everything that is turned in is a dangerous drug, our program offers our residents a safe and convenient alternative to other disposal options.”

For more information about the next Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, go to


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