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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Is Saturday, October 26

For immediate release:
October 25, 2019

Governor Hogan Encourages Marylanders to Dispose of Unneeded Medications

ANNAPOLIS, MD –The Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center is reminding citizens that Saturday, October 26, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day provides a safe and convenient opportunity to dispose of prescription drugs while also raising awareness of the potential for misuse of medications. From 10 a.m.–2 p.m. on Saturday, the public can turn in expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications at collection sites across the state.

“Our administration has been committed to shining a spotlight on the heroin and opioid crisis, and to using every tool at our disposal to address this threat that is tearing apart families and devastating communities,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “It will take an all-hands-on-deck approach to turn the tide in this fight, and the simple act of cleaning out your medicine cabinet could save lives. On this National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, we encourage all Marylanders to safely dispose of their old, unneeded prescription medications.”

Since its inception in 2010, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day has encouraged the safe disposal of millions of pounds of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications. This is a special opportunity for citizens to prevent the accidental or intentional misuse of medications. Collection sites can be found at TakeBackDay.DEA.gov.

The Maryland State Police have collected over ten tons of prescription drugs at similar events since 2014. All state police barracks are 24/7 drop-off locations for old and unused medications.

Drug take-back efforts complement the Hogan administration’s aggressive response to the opioid crisis in Maryland. Governor Hogan was the first governor to declare a State of Emergency in response to this epidemic, and in 2017, he established the Opioid Operational Command Center to direct and coordinate the state’s efforts. The administration has also implemented a number of groundbreaking policies related to the opioid epidemic, including the expansion of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and the provision of millions in grant funding to local health departments and treatment programs.

“Maryland has recognized that the opioid problem we face is a long-term public health threat. We are making progress in our efforts to attack this threat through the help of community partners across the state,” said Executive Director Steve Schuh of the Opioid Operational Command Center. “It is reassuring to see the overwhelming statewide response each year to National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and we look forward to removing many thousands more pounds of opioids and other dangerous drugs from our streets and homes in 2019.”

Before It’s Too Late is the state’s effort to bring awareness to the opioid epidemic and to mobilize resources for effective prevention, enforcement and treatment. Marylanders struggling with a substance use disorder can find help at BeforeItsTooLateMD.org; through our state’s crisis hotline, CALL 211, PRESS 1; or by texting their ZIP code to 898-211.

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The Opioid Operational Command Center’s vision is that Maryland will be a healthier place where no one else falls prey to opioid misuse, where anyone impacted by opioid use disorder can access the health services they need, and where there is no more suffering from the misuse of opioids. Under the guidance of the Inter-Agency Heroin and Opioid Coordinating Council, the OOCC leads Maryland’s opioid-related strategic planning and coordinates the efforts of approximately 20 state agencies, our community partners, and all 24 local jurisdictions throughout the state. 

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