• By Heather Carlson Kehren

Mayo Clinic to sponsor National Prescription Drug Take Back Day event on April 28

April 25, 2018

several prescription medicine bottles, some lying on their sides with pills and capsules spilling out

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic is partnering with the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, Olmsted Medical Center, Zumbro Valley Medical Society and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to sponsor the 15th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28. Mayo Clinic will host a community drop-off location to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.

The public can drop off unwanted medications in Rochester from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CDT at the Gonda Building’s circle drive entrance on Third Avenue Southwest. Access the drop-off site from Second Street Southwest by turning north onto Third Avenue Southwest and entering the circle drive to the Gonda West entrance. Participants can drive up and hand off any medications. The service is free and anonymous. Nothing needs to be signed. The DEA and the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Department will dispose of the medication that is dropped off.

An estimated 11.8 million Americans misused opioids in 2016, according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends — often from the home medicine cabinet. Mayo Clinic, Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, Olmsted Medical Center, and Zumbro Valley Medical Society are committed to protecting against misuse and abuse of potentially dangerous drugs. During last year’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day event, 964 pounds of unwanted medications were collected in Olmsted County.

Nearly one-third of surgical patients who responded to a recent Mayo Clinic survey said they didn’t use any of the opioids they were prescribed, and only about 8 percent disposed of their excess opioids. Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused, or illegally sold. Medications that are improperly disposed of by flushing them down the toilet pose a potential health and environmental hazard. Proper disposal of unused drugs save lives and protects the environment.

Media are invited to arrive at 10 a.m. There will be a media availability at 10:15 a.m. CDT with leaders from participating organizations.

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