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Get rid of leftover opioids and other pills on Drug Take Back Day

Trump's opioid declaration

President Trump is encouraging Americans to rid their medicine cabinets of leftover prescription drugs by turning them in to designated collection sites on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, Oct. 28.

The president promoted the event in a White House speech Thursday as he officially declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency.

"I am urging all Americans to help fight this opioid epidemic and the broader issue of drug addiction by participating in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday — when you can safely turn in these dangerous and horrible drugs for disposal," Mr. Trump said. 

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and local agencies, which host events across the country to collect potentially harmful expired, unused or unwanted medications so they can be disposed of safely. 

You can drop off unwanted pills or medication patches between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at locations in all 50 states. There is no cost and drop-offs can be made anonymously.  Search for a nearby collection site here.

Prescription drugs are a common cause of accidental poisonings in children and should not be kept around if they're no longer needed. 

Leftover prescription opioid painkillers, in particular, pose a risk for addiction and overdoses

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, "a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet," the DEA said in a statement. Another study published last year surveyed 1,000 people with opioid painkiller prescriptions and found that one in five of them admitted sharing their pills with another person.

This will be the 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The DEA says so far the events have resulted in more than 8.1 million pounds of pills being turned in. The most recent event, in April, brought in 900,000 pounds of drugs at close to 5,500 sites across the nation.

Leftover pills can be dropped off at certain pharmacies and other collection sites around the country in between official Take Back Days. You can find those locations here or at www.rxdrugdropbox.org.

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