National Prescription Drug Take Back events return April 30
Eagle County law enforcement agencies are participating in the 22nd annual event
Law enforcement agencies across Eagle Country will be participating in the 22nd annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 30.
Local personnel will be on-site, and will host collection sites from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations:
- Vail Police Department: Vail Municipal Building (75 S. Frontage Road, Vail)
- Avon Police Department: Walmart (171 Yoder Ave., Avon)
- Eagle County Sheriff’s Office: City Market Eagle (103 Market St., Eagle)
- Carbondale Police Department: Police Station (511 Colorado Ave. #911, Carbondale)
This is an opportunity to clean out your medicine cabinets of all unwanted, expired or unused medications and have them disposed of safely. The service is free and anonymous with no questions asked.
Items that can be dropped off during the Saturday events are vitamins, supplements, medicated ointments/lotions, over-the-counter and prescription medications, including controlled substances (narcotics). Please, no needles, sharps or pressurized canisters.
Getting rid of unused medication helps prevent the accidental and intentional misuse of prescription medications.
Local agency partners at medical facilities, landfills as well as water and sanitation districts all support the safe disposal of medications because it helps to protect our water sources by keeping drugs out of local wastewater and landfills.
The collected items will be incinerated in an environmentally friendly manner by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which spearheads the national effort.
Locally, the DEA’s National Take Back Initiative is coordinated by the Safe Drug Disposal Program, which is a partnership among local agencies including the Vail Police Department, Avon Police Department, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Carbondale Police Department, Glenwood Springs Police Department, Vail Health, Eagle County and Eagle River Water & Sanitation District.
In October 2021, Americans turned in 744,082 pounds of prescription drugs at 4,982 collection sites set up by the DEA and its 4,276 participating law enforcement and community partners across the nation.
In Colorado alone, 52 law enforcement agencies collected 10,787 pounds of prescription drugs at 80 sites. The previous twenty DEA-coordinated Take Back events nationwide since 2010 have removed 15,268,473 pounds of prescription medications from circulation (345,692 pounds in Colorado).
This initiative addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. Unused prescription medications in homes can be accidentally ingested, stolen, misused and abused. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. Also, Americans know that outdated methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — pose potential safety and health hazards.
In 2014, new regulations made the disposal of controlled prescription drugs easier for patients and their caregivers. Since then, law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, hospitals and clinics have begun the continuous collection of these medications.
Year-round disposal sites
Local law enforcement agencies and DEA licensed “collector sites” offer permanent, year-round, medication take-back receptacles at the following locations during business hours:
- Vail Police Department: 75 S. Frontage Road, Vail
- Avon Police Department: 60 Buck Creek Road, Avon
- Eagle County Sheriff’s Office: 0885 E. Chambers Ave., Eagle
- Basalt Police Department: 100 Elk Run Drive, Suite 115, Basalt
- Glenwood Springs Police Department: 101 W. 8th St., Glenwood Springs
- Vail Health Hospital, Vail Pharmacy: 181 W. Meadow Drive, Vail
- Shaw Center, Edwards Medical Pharmacy: 322 Beard Creek Road, Edwards
- Vail Valley Pharmacy: 105 Edwards Village Blvd., Edwards
- Walgreens: 1412 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs
Each of the above agencies hosts a year-round dropbox as part of the Colorado Household Medication Take Back Program sponsored by the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.
Anyone can look for the green, drug disposal drop boxes (pictured) at the Vail Municipal Building, Avon Public Safety Facility, the Eagle County Justice Center main entrance, Basalt Police Department lobby, the Carbondale Police Department in the Town Hall lobby, outside at the Glenwood Springs Police Department and at both Vail Health pharmacies (in Edwards and Vail).
The above-mentioned law enforcement agencies and DEA licensed “collector sites” offer drop boxes that can accept unwanted medications — including controlled substances (narcotics) such as codeine, valium, phenobarbital and others — during regular business hours. The year-round disposal service is free, and items may be deposited anonymously with no questions asked.
Other businesses that can accept unwanted medications are The Vail Valley Pharmacy in Edwards and Walgreens in Glenwood Springs. These businesses can also accept unwanted medications, free of charge, during regular business hours but cannot accept controlled substances.
For more information, and to find a drug drop location near you, visit TakeMedsBack.org.