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DC Department of Health, Metropolitan Police Department & DC Water Encourage Residents to Drop Off Unwanted and Expired Medications at Local Take-back Sites

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
The Drug Enforcement Administration will offer local collection sites on October 29.

Washington, DC – District of Columbia residents will have the option to safely dispose of household medications at drug take-back sites throughout the city. The upcoming “Take-Back” initiative, being held on Saturday, October 29, is an effort to safely collect unused and expired medications and prevent improper drug disposal and distribution.

The DC Department of Health (DOH), Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) are encouraging District residents to participate in this nation-wide effort. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in conjunction with state and local governments, law enforcements, community, and public health organizations will host the drug “Take-Back” initiative for the District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland areas.  Last year the nation-wide event helped collect and properly dispose of more than 309 tons of pills.

“Our partnership with the DEA on this important initiative helps to slow the use of legal medications that are used in an illegal way.  It also provides a safe turn in area that will collect the unused or unwanted medications, which will then be disposed of in a proper manner thereby protecting our environment,” said Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier.

Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, which can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse.   According to the DEA, “each day, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.”
The drug “Take-Back” initiative will help educate the public of proper medication disposal methods, as well as offer local take-back collection centers for people wanting to get rid of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted medicines.   Collection centers will be facilitated by the Washington area DEA, who will work with state and local police departments throughout the region to help collect and destroy medications.

“It is important for residents to make use of this opportunity on Saturday to turn in unwanted or expired drugs because old medications have the potential to endanger the lives of our residents and cause harm to our environment,” said DOH Director, Dr. Mohammad Akhter. “By following safe and appropriate medication disposal methods, we can better protect the overall health and safety of our residents and our communities.” 

DC Water encourages residents to properly dispose of drugs and prevent harmful impacts to our environment and local waterways.  “Take-back programs can reduce the amount of drugs that are flushed down household drains and toilets and enter our water system,” said DC Water General Manager George S. Hawkins. “Everyone plays a role in protecting our environment and this initiative is a simple and safe method for residents to dispose of unused and expired medications.”

The DEA will offer several collection sites this Saturday, October 29th from 10 am to 2 pm.  The service is free and anonymous. Below is a list of collection sites in the District of Columbia.

 Collection Site Address 
 First Police District  301 M Street, SW
 First District Substation  500 E Street, SE
 Second Police District  3320 Idaho Avenue, NW 
 Third Police District  1620 V Street, NW
 Third District Substation   750 Park Road, NW
 Fourth Police District  6001 Georgia Avenue, NW
 Fifth Police District  1805 Bladensburg Road, NE
 Sixth Police District  100 42nd Street, NE
 Seventh Police District  2455 Alabama Avenue, SE

 US Capitol Police Headquarters
 Collection Box located just outside D Street Door
 119 D Street, NE
 University of the District of Columbia  4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW
 Building 39/Room C-04
 Wisconsin Avenue Baptist Church  3920 Alton Place, NW
 Bolling AFB Exchange  195 Chappie James Blvd

For more information on collection sites in surroundings areas, visit