Dispose of Old Meds and Reduce Pharmaceuticals Reaching the Water Supply on National Drug Take-Back Day

Help Keep Fish Off Drugs
October 19, 2016
Media Contact— Caitlin Coomber / ccoomber@ucsd.edu / 858-534-0580

Unwanted or expired prescription drugs can be dropped off at locations throughout the state this weekend. Saturday, October 22, is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The event provides a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs. The biannual event is hosted by the National Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and partners across the country.
 
“Don’t flush or dump your drugs,” said California Sea Grant Extension Specialist Theresa Talley. “They end up in wastewater treatment or landfills where the runoff ultimately flows to water treatment. This sounds okay except that our current water treatment methods don't remove most of these chemicals.”
 
Recent studies funded by partner program Oregon Sea Grant found that unwanted medicines that are flushed down toilets or tossed into landfills can release these drugs into the environment via waterways, where they can accumulate in the tissues of fish and other wildlife with as-yet unknown consequences.
 
Find your nearest drop-off spot here: https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html

About California Sea Grant

NOAA’s California Sea Grant College Program funds marine research, education and outreach throughout California. Our headquarters is at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; we are one of 33 Sea Grant programs in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce.