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The original item was published from 4/6/2023 12:09:18 PM to 4/23/2023 12:05:03 AM.

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Posted on: April 6, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Discard unused, expired medications on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 22

Prescription drug drop off

SPEARFISH, SD – Ever wonder what to do with expired or unused medication you’ve collected over the years? 

Take part in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 22, 2023, an awareness event which aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. It is coordinated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), state and local law enforcement agencies, and community partners to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from homes.

Take Back Day offers free and anonymous disposal of unneeded medications, and the Spearfish Police Department is one of the more than 4,000 local drop-off locations nationwide,” Spearfish Public Safety Director Pat Rotert said. “Whether by accident or intentionally, unused prescription drugs can find their way into the wrong hands, with dangerous or tragic results – and we want to help to prevent those situations.” 

The Spearfish Police Department, located at 225 West Illinois Street, features a drop box right outside its lobby door which is accessible 24 hours a day, every day, for people to anonymously drop off expired or unused prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, pet medicines, and vitamin supplements for destruction (no syringes/sharps). All collected medications will be disposed of by law enforcement in accordance with state guidelines and the DEA

In partnership with local law enforcement, Take Back Day has removed more than 8,300 tons of medications from circulation since its inception.

Unused or expired drugs are unsafe as they can be scavenged or sold illegally; children and animals could be poisoned if they find and swallow drugs; and they can be toxic to the environment. Officials discourage flushing medication down the toilet – unless medications specifically indicate that they can be flushed – because of the public health implication of drugs entering the ecosystem and potential negative effects on the water supply.

For more than a decade, the take back event has helped Americans easily rid their homes of unneeded medications that too often become a gateway to addiction, which is an issue that impacts every community,” said Director Rotert. “The drug overdose epidemic in the United States is a clear and present public health, safety, and national security threat, and removing unneeded medications from homes acts as a measure of preventing medication misuse and opioid addiction from ever starting.

For a list of additional collection sites and more information about National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, visit

Prescription drug drop off

Photo caption: People can drop off expired, unused and unwanted prescriptions, and other medication to be safely disposed of at this drop box located at 225 West Illinois Street in Spearfish. The drop box is accessible 24/7. Photo courtesy of Spearfish Police Department 

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