Saturday is National Prescription Take-Back Day
Health • Ridding home of old prescriptions could lower overdoses.

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: April 25, 2014 09:49PM
Updated: April 25, 2014 08:23PM

Health officials hope Saturday’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will lower the number of people who die from prescription drug overdoses each year.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency program provides drop off points throughout the state from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for prescription and over-the-counter medications, said Elizabeth Sollis,communications director at the Utah Department of Human Services.

Health officials say prescription drugs should not be thrown out in the trash or flushed down the toilet.

In Utah, to find a drop off point near you visit www.useonlyasdirected.org. Old prescription drugs also can be dropped off at the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building, 475 S. 300 East from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Old prescriptions can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Smith’s Food and Drug stores in the Salt Lake area at 555 S. 200 West, Bountiful; 1820 W. 9000 South, West Jordan; and 4080 W. 9000 South, West Jordan.

According to the state Health Department, about 300 deaths in Utah are linked to prescription drugs every year. The majority of fatal overdoses involve opioid drugs, such as Oxycontin and Percocet.

Sollis said removing drugs from the medicine cabinet helps to eliminate a major source of narcotics for illicit drug users.

“We want to make sure if people have pain medications, antidepressants – anything that other people might try to abuse – we want to get that out of those cabinets if they’re no longer being used or if they’re expired, and into a proper disposal location,” she said.

— Christopher Smart