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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 24

There are multiple locations in the state where people can drop off their unused, unwanted and expired prescription drugs.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is encouraging residents to drop off unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs during the 20th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 24.

According to the agency, opioid overdose responses remain high in the state since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This event is hosted twice a year by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and lets people get dispose of prescription drugs in a responsible way, making sure they aren't stolen, abused or ending up in the wrong hands. 

The public can drop off prescription medications at any of the more than 70 one-day collection sites across the state, which will also adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.

Take back locations will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop-off locations, provided lithium batteries are removed. 

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  • For more information, to include takeback event locations and disposal guidelines, visit this DHEC webpage or the DEA Take Back Day website.
  • For those experiencing substance use issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a 24/7 support line available at 1-844-SC-HOPES (724-6737).
  • For information on opioid overdose prevention, the opioid antidote Naloxone, finding a recovery provider, pain management and overdose data, visit www.justplainkillers.com
  • Additional information about DHEC opioid prevention programs for families and community organizations is available at www.scdhec.gov/opioid-epidemic.

According to the DEA, early 50 percent of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends.

“Eliminating un-needed prescription medicines from homes is an effective way to stop prescription drug misuse before it can put lives at risk,” said Emma Kennedy, director of DHEC's Division of Injury and Substance Abuse Prevention. “Take-back events are a convenient way for South Carolinians to help keep their loved ones and communities safe.” 

The DEA collected close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs across the nation last October.

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