Walgreens to collect unwanted medications

The fifth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by a partnership between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, local police departments and Walgreens, will occur on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Walgreens locations across the country will accept unused, unwanted or expired medications in order for them to be safely disposed of by the DEA. The disposal of the medications will entail an anonymous collection and incineration.

Local Walgreens pharmacies participating in the Drug Take-Back Day include Walgreens stores at 841 Bloomington Road in Champaign and at 1801 S. Philo Road in Urbana. Medications will be collected free of charge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 29. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications will be accepted.

The purpose of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is to prevent and decrease the amount of medications that are improperly disposed of, such as by flushing them down a toilet or placing them in the garbage. Both of these methods of disposal can increase the amount of pharmaceutical chemicals in several water sources, including drinking water according to a press release by the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program.

“The importance of a drug take-back day is greater than removing unwanted or unused drugs from a person’s household,” Walgreens District Loss Prevention manager Samantha Murphy said in a press release. “By properly discarding of unused medication we are protecting the environment by keeping drugs out of the waterways and landfills as well as keeping potentially harmful drugs from getting into the wrong hands.”