The Vail Police Department is participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Saturday, Oct. 24. The collection takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Vail Municipal Building, 75 S. Frontage Road. This is an opportunity to clean out your medicine cabinets of all unwanted, expired or unused medications and have them disposed of safely. Getting rid of unused medications helps prevent accidental and intentional misuse of these items while safe disposal protects water sources by keeping drugs out of wastewater and the landfill. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
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 being coordinated by the Safe Drug Disposal Program which is a partnership among the Vail Police Department, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, Eagle County and Vail Health.
If you can’t make it to Vail, there will be collection sites at Walmart in Avon, courtesy of Avon Police, and City Market in Eagle, staffed by Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the same day. Items that can be dropped off include vitamins, supplements, medicated ointments/lotions, over-the-counter and prescription medications, including controlled substances. Please, no needles (sharps) or pressurized canisters.
In its 18 previous nationwide Take Back events starting in September 2010, DEA and its partners have taken in over 12.6 million pounds or over 6,349 tons of medications.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. 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 are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines - flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash-posed potential safety and health hazards.
Year-round Disposal Sites
There are five permanent medication take back receptacles in the Eagle River Valley. The Vail Police Department, Avon Police Department and Eagle County Sheriff’s Office each host a drop box as part of the Colorado Household Medication Take Back Program sponsored by the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.These law-enforcement drop boxes can accept unwanted medications – including controlled substances (narcotics) such as oxycodone, codeine, phenobarbital valium and others – during regular business hours and are located in the Vail municipal building, Avon public safety facility, and in the lobby of the justice center in Eagle. The year-round disposal service is free and items may be deposited anonymously with no questions asked.
The Vail Pharmacy located in Vail Health Hospital, and the Edwards Pharmacy located at Shaw Cancer Center, also have safe disposal boxes for both controlled and non-controlled medications that are available, free of charge, during business hours.
For more information on either program, contact Sgt. Justin Dill with the Vail Police Department at 970-479-2200.