Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day


Saturday is national prescription drug “Take Back Day.” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem reminds North Dakota residents who want to safely dispose of unused prescription and over the counter medications that they can turn to the state’s free, year-round Take Back program or companion MedSafe program.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use & Health, unused medications pose a risk for accidental exposure, misuse and abuse. Stenehjem notes that one study found half of patients have leftover prescription pills and are unsure of how to safely dispose of them. These drugs should not be dumped in the trash or flushed down the toilet because they can be harmful to the environment and our water systems.

“The Take Back program is the easiest way to safely dispose of unused and unwanted medications. I encourage everyone to take a few minutes tonight to collect up any leftover or expired prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines and drop them off tomorrow,” said Stenehjem.

The North Dakota Take Back program was launched almost ten years ago, in December 2009. The pilot program, in just two cities, proved so popular that it was quickly expanded to a statewide program. To date, more than 12.3 tons of unused prescription drugs and over the counter medications have been collected and destroyed. Take Back containers are located at local law enforcement agencies.

The Attorney General partnered with the Board of Pharmacy to add the MedSafe program, which puts disposal containers at pharmacy counters at participating pharmacies.

Between the two programs, there are almost 200 free disposal sites across the state. Information about Take Back and MedSafe locations is available on the Attorney General’s “Take Back” page,