How locals can take part in National Prescription Drug Takeback Day
April 22 marks one of two days every year that local law enforcement agencies partner with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to collect drugs that are expired, leftover, or otherwise unused. Collection initiatives like the 23rd annual National Prescription Drug Takeback Day on April 22 are opportunities for community members and law enforcement to work together to promote a safer and healthier community.
Nearby, there are several collection permanent sites that exist year-round, providing the public the opportunity to anonymously dispose of unneeded drugs. These sites are located at local law enforcement agencies as well as DEA-licensed collection sites, which include the following:
- Vail Police Department – 75 S. Frontage Rd. Vail, CO 81657
- Avon Police Department – 60 Buck Creek Rd. Avon, CO 81620
- Eagle County Sheriff’s Office – 0885 E. Chambers Ave. Eagle CO
- Basalt Police Department – 100 Elk Run Drive, Suite 115, Basalt CO 81631
- Vail Health Hospital, Vail Pharmacy – 181 W Meadow Drive, Vail, CO 81657
- Shaw Center, Edwards Medical Pharmacy – 322 Beard Creek Rd. Edwards, CO 81632
- Vail Valley Pharmacy – 105 Edwards Village Blvd. Edwards, CO 81632
- Walgreens—1412 Grand Ave. Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Additional permanent drop-off locations can be found using the DEA’s collection site locator.
Eagle County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Heath Mosness said that while these drop-off locations are great for preventing drug misuse year-round, the National Drug Takeback days offer an opportunity for the community to be reminded to go through their homes and actually collect their unneeded medications. He said there is a national awareness that comes with campaigns spearheaded by the DEA.
“I think that makes people think, ‘Hey, we’re cleaning up the house, throwing things away, let’s do our drugs too,'” Mosness said.
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Mosness said it is important to responsibly dispose of drugs instead of just throwing the items away.
According to an Eagle County Sheriff’s Office press release, “in partnership with local law enforcement, Take Back Day has removed more than 8,300 tons of medication from circulation since its inception.”
Mosness said he helps collect drugs on National Drug Takeback Day every year. On April 22, local personnel will be stationed at additional temporary collection locations to assist with the takeback from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eagle County sites include the following locations:
- The Vail Police Department will run a collection site at the Vail Municipal Building — 75 S. Frontage Road, Vail, CO 81657
- The Avon Police Department will run a collection site at Walmart — 171 Yonder Ave., Avon, CO 81620
- The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and Eagle Police Department will run a collection site at the Eagle City Market — 103 Market St., Eagle, CO 81631
People who participate in National Drug Takeback Day are able to drop off drugs anonymously and at no cost.
“At City Market, you just walk up — we’re standing out front — you know, just walk up and throw whatever you have into this bucket that’s basically a big trash bag,” Mosness said. “Then, we seal it and it goes to the DEA on Monday and then it goes to Salt Lake to be put in the incinerator and burned.”
The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office media release detailed that the collection provides the opportunity for people to get rid of “tablets, capsules, patches and other solid forms of prescription drugs,” but Mosness said these can include canine or animal drugs as well as vitamins and other things.
“The only thing that doesn’t really fly too well is needles and things like that,” Mosness said. “If somebody has an expired EpiPen that hasn’t been opened and is capped, I usually will take that. But we’re not there to pick up used needles or anything like that.”
Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office media release noted that for collection of liquid products like cough syrup, people must tightly seal the liquid in its original container to prevent leakage.
Mosness said that community members have been enthusiastic about the opportunity get rid of these potentially hazardous items in their homes. “We’ll be more than happy to collect it (on April 22), or they can drop it off at one of the other collection points anytime during the year.”