Drug Take Back Bins available for unused medications
Over 1,700 pounds of prescription drugs collected last year
Medications hiding in dark corners of cabinets may not remain hidden and can pose risks to friends and family. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) annual effort with law enforcement agencies, originally set for Oct. 24, was canceled locally due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
However, the public can still make use of the Drug Take Back Bins, where people can take unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal, no questions asked and at no cost to them.
Last fall, 1,720 pounds of drugs were collected in Montana. All drugs gathered are incinerated by the DEA, according to a Gallatin County press release.
“The old recommendation of flushing pharmaceuticals down the toilet is the least desirable alternative for the disposal of unwanted or unused medications,” according to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality website. Wastewater treatment plants and septic systems are not designed to treat pharmaceutical waste.
“Recent research has demonstrated that pharmaceuticals exist in the environment as a result of improper disposal of unused medicines and because they are excreted by the person using the medicines,” the website continued.
Prescription drug abuse rates as well as accidental poisonings and overdoses by family members and visitors – including children and teens – remain remarkably high.
“Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet,” the Gallatin County press release stated.
Medications like pills, capsules, and patches can be taken to the bins.
“This is an opportunity to safely and anonymously empty out your medicine cabinet of drugs that have expired or that you don’t need any more, including over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs that contain controlled substances,” the press release stated.
Permanent Drug Take Back Bins are at these locations:
• Law and Justice Center, 605 S. 16th, Bozeman
• Bozeman Police Department 30 N. Rouse, Bozeman
• MSU Police Department
• Highland Park Pharmacy, at Bozeman Health Hospital (available during Pharmacy business hours)
• Belgrade Police Dept/City Hall, 91 E. Central Ave, Belgrade
• Manhattan Police Dept, 120 W. Main Street, Manhattan
• Three Forks City Hall, 206 N Main St, Three Forks (available during business hours)
• Big Sky Sheriff ’s Office, 650 Rainbow Trout Run (Available when a deputy is in the office or by calling 582-2100 and asking to speak to a Big Sky deputy)
• West Yellowstone Police Dept, 124 Yellowstone Ave., West Yellowstone
• Park County Sheriff ’s Office, 414 E. Callender, Livingston