HELENA – The Montana Department of Justice, local law enforcement agencies, tribal law enforcement agencies, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are encouraging Montanans to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This is the 16th time in eight years that the event has been held to help prevent pill abuse by ridding homes of unused prescription drugs.
Law enforcement will be holding events at 36 locations in more than 30 Montana cities to provide free, no-questions-asked disposal of drugs.
The Montana Department of Justice recommends properly disposing of unneeded prescription drugs as a way to help curb and prevent prescription drug abuse.
“It’s a good point in time for parents, grandparents, really all of us to go through our medicine cabinets at home, and make sure that we don’t have anything in there that shouldn’t be in there,” said Montana DOJ spokesperson Anastasia Burton.
For the first time in Montana, USDA has asked its agencies to take part in the event, including NRCS, USFS, Farm Services, and APHIS.
“We have a record number of participating Take Back Day locations this Saturday, and I encourage all Montanans to visit the site nearest them to dispose of their unused and expired medications,” Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said. “Prescription drugs that sit in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to abuse, misuse, and diversion. Throwing them away or flushing them down the toilet are both potential safety and health hazards. Take Back Day offers a convenient way for each of us to properly dispose of our outdated medications while protecting our communities and the environment at the same time.”
Cities hosting Take Back events include Big Timber, Billings, Box Elder, Bozeman, Browning, Butte, Columbus, Crow Agency, Cut Bank, Dillon, Fort Belknap, Gardiner, Glendive, Great Falls, Harlowton, Havre, Helena, Jordan, Lame Deer, Lewistown, Libby, Lincoln, Livingston, Miles City, Missoula, Poplar, Red Lodge, Ronan, Roundup, Superior, West Yellowstone, and Whitefish.
A detailed list of each event can be found on the DEA’s website.
The following items cannot be accepted at Take Back events: illegal drugs, chemotherapy drugs, needles, sharps, mercury (thermometers), oxygen containers, pressurized canisters, and radioactive substances.
Nationwide, a total of 949,046 pounds, or 474 tons, were brought to 5,842 collection sites in for last event in April.
The Montana Department of Justice installed three new drug incinerators in the state earlier this year as a part of Fox’s Aid Montana initiative.
Located in Butte, Great Falls and Billings, the incinerators are used to safely destroy prescription drugs turned into local law enforcement.
People can dispose of their unwanted medications outside of Take Back Day by visiting one of over 50 permanent drug drop box locations across the state.
Story by John Riley, MTN News