Iowans are being encouraged to clean out their medicine cabinets this Saturday by taking unwanted and expired medications to more than 100 disposal sites.
The free and anonymous service is provided couple times a year, as part of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The aim is to prevent theft and pill abuse, especially in light of the opioid epidemic.
"Studies are showing that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, and that includes the home medicine cabinet," says Sarah Boblenz of the DEA's Des Moines office. "You might not think it could happen, but it could happen."
Most of the Iowa drop-off sites are located at grocery stores, pharmacies and government buildings. The Elkader Opera House is also participating.
Only pills and patches will be accepted. That means no liquids, needles or sharps.
Flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash poses potential health hazards and environmental concerns. The DEA incinerates all collected materials.