Prescription Drug Take Back Day Set for Saturday

Saturday, Oct. 27, law enforcement agencies will be collecting unwanted, unneeded or expired prescription drugs for the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Gaithersburg Police accepts unwanted prescriptions at its police station year round.

And all 23 Maryland State Police barracks will accept unwanted prescriptions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the events will collect medicines from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In April, more than 949,000 pounds of medicine were collected and safely destroyed nationwide.

The following items may be dropped off during the event:

  • Prescription and over-the-counter medicines,
  • Medical samples,
  • Pet medicines, and
  • Medicated ointments and lotions.

During the last initiative in April 2018, state police collected nearly 2,155 pounds of prescription drugs. Since 2014, troopers have collected more than 17,823 pounds of prescription drugs through similar initiatives.

For those that cannot make it on Saturday, you can drop them off to any state police barrack at any time of the day throughout the year.

Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue that can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse. In fact, prescription and over-the-counter drugs are, after marijuana and alcohol, the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 years and older.

To stop these from occurring, police departments provide an opportunity to dispose of unwanted medications safely and securely throughout the year.

The Gaithersburg prescription drop box is located in the Police Station lobby at 14 Fulks Corner Ave. Citizens may stop by seven days a week between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. to drop off unwanted and expired medications and keep them away from those at risk of abusing them.

The drop box accepts solid pharmaceuticals such as pills, capsules, patches and pet medications. It cannot accept syringes or liquids. This service is completely anonymous.

Participants may dispose of their medicines in the original container and can remove any identifying information from the prescription label.

Results from the 2016 Maryland Opioid Misuse Prevention Survey revealed that 39 percent of survey respondents ages 18 and older got prescription opioids by stealing them from family members and 26 percent of respondents got painkillers from friends.

For more information about the DEA’s “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” initiative, visit For information about the dangers of prescription medicine misuse and for information about monitoring, storing and disposing of medicines, please visit or contact the Frederick County Health Department at 301-600-1755.

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