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National Drug Take Back Day helps people get rid of unwanted prescriptions

If you are doing some cleaning around the house this weekend, keep your eyes open for any prescriptions that you are not using anymore. Oct. 27 is the Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Bingham Memorial Hospital in Blackfoot is helping eastern Idahoans safely get rid of their unneeded, or expired prescription drugs. You can drop off prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and pet medications, no questions asked.

“What we’re doing is providing any prescription that you’re not currently using, we’re going to have a service where you just drop it off,” said Daniel Smith, the medical director at Idaho Pain Group. “That way it is no longer a danger in your home. If you no longer need to take the medication, there’s no need to keep it in your home at that time.”

Last year, the DEA collected close to 475 tons of expired prescription drugs nationwide.

BMH said the drug take-back program is important for public health and safety.

“Unfortunately I’ve seen patients in my own practice, patients who’ve developed a drug abuse or drug addiction problem,” said Nathan Sneddon, an intervention pain specialist at BMH. “Oftentimes that problem started when they were young, oftentimes when they were teenagers and they got hold of either mom, dad or grandparents’ medications. Oftentimes the medicines were not locked up like they should have been.”

The drug take-back program for BMH will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 27 at two locations: the emergency room at Bingham Memorial Hospital and the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office.

People can dispose of unwanted drugs year-round at those locations as well.

You can find a nearest take-back location to you here.

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