• By Heather Carlson Kehren

Drop off medications, electronic cigarette devices at Take Back Day

October 23, 2019
a collection of prescription pill bottles

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Need to get rid of unwanted prescription medications but not sure where to take them? Dispose of them safely during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 26. Also, e-cigarette vaping devices and cartridges will be accepted during the event for the first time.

More than 10 million Americans misused prescription opioids last year, according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Often those who misuse prescription opioids got the drugs from family or friends. Ensuring proper drug disposal helps save lives. The decision to accept vaping devices at this year's take back event comes amid concerns about illness and death caused by vaping and the rise in vaping among young people.

Mayo Clinic has teamed up with the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, Olmsted Medical Center, Zumbro Valley Medical Society and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to sponsor a community drop-off location. The public can drop off unwanted medications anonymously in Rochester Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Gonda West entrance on Third Avenue Southwest. Note that vape pens and other e-cigarette devices will only be accepted after the batteries have been removed. Officials with the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office and the DEA will dispose of the items that are dropped off. Last year, more than 2,100 pounds of unwanted medications were collected in Rochester during two similar events.

Community members unable to attend the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day event can dispose of medications safely anytime in the prescription drug collection box at the Olmsted County Government Center. The box, which is in the vestibule of the Adult Detention Center, is accessible 24/7 daily. Those living outside of Rochester can find other National Prescription Drug Take Back Day drop-off locations on the DEA website.

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