Drug Take Back

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WWU Supports National Prescription Drug Take Back Day


Western Washington University’s Suicide Prevention Program, Environmental Health and Safety, Alcohol and Other Drug Risk Reduction, and Men’s Resiliency Program encourage you to participate in this year’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 26, 2019.

Why should I participate?Drug Take Back

  • Managing and controlling your unwanted prescriptions can help reduce the risk of addiction, overdose, and even suicide.
  • Improper disposal of medications, tossing it in the garbage or flushing it down the toilet, is harmful to the environment. Many of those chemicals end up in our water supply.


How can I participate?

  • Clean out your medicine cabinet. Look for expired medications and for those you no longer need.
  • Black out your name and other personal information, but NOT the prescription information. Pharmacists will need to know what medications you are dropping off. 
  • Determine if it is a controlled or non-controlled medication. Not all sites can take back controlled medications.
    • Non-controlled medications: Prescription medications (except controlled medications), pet medications, medicated ointments/lotions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, inhalers and unopened EpiPens
    • Controlled medications: Codeine, Xanax, Valium, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, Ritalin, and Ambien. See the U.S. Department of Justice Diversion Control Division site for more information: https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/index.html
  • Deliver your medications to the appropriate drop-off location. Find your nearest location here: https://whatcomhope.org/managing-your-prescriptions/


Drug Take Back Q&A

Q. What if I can’t participate on April 28th?

A. No need to wait! You can drop-off unwanted medications any day of the year. National Drug Take Back Day is one of two days a year set aside to raise awareness about the importance of disposing of unwanted medications.


Q. What if I don’t live in Whatcom County?

A. There are a number of permanent take-back locations in Washington State. Find a site near you: http://www.takebackyourmeds.org


Q. Where can I get rid of prescription painkillers?

A. As controlled drugs, prescription painkillers can only be disposed of at certain sites. Most police stations are able to dispose of these drugs, and in Whatcom County, Walgreens on Sunset Drive is able to take back controlled medications, too.


Q. Can I dispose of illegal drugs at drop-off locations?

A. No. You can only dispose of legal, prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs.


Q. Will my information remain confidential?

A. Yes! You are encouraged to black out any personal information on your prescription bottle. The only thing that can’t be blacked out is the name of the medication. The pharmacists will need to know what medication is being dropped off, as controlled substances are only accepted at some locations.


Additional Information