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Drug Take Back Day: How to get rid of unused prescription drugs on Oct. 27

Posted at 7:37 PM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 21:37:15-04

BOZEMAN, Mont.- On Saturday, October 27th residents in Gallatin County will be able to drop off their unused prescription drugs at the Law & Justice Center.

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, last spring, Americans turned in close to 500 tons of prescription drugs.

Over the last 15 Drug Take Back events, the DEA has collected 10 million pounds of prescription drugs. Chairman Rick Gale said the Montana Elks Drug Awareness Program is partnering with the Missouri Rive Drug Task Force for National Drug take Back Day.

“I think most of us know that we are in the middle of an opioid epidemic through out the country and here in Montana as well. So this is a way to make sure those drugs are disposed of and don’t end up in the wrong hands,” said Gale. 

Bozeman Health Pharmacy Manager Mike Bertagnolli said not only does pouring pills down the drain causes environmental concerns, it also caused another problem. 

“We all know about the opioid crisis, part of that is we are seeing a lot of abuse among teenagers,” said Bertagnolli. “Besides marijuana, a close second is prescription drugs. So those prescription drugs that you have in your medicine cabinet likely, possibly has a good chance to end up in the wrong hands.”

“For those who cannot make the event we have some 8 boxes throughout Gallatin County that are available for people to drop off their prescription drugs,” said Gale. 

Prescription pills, medicine bottles and up to 4 oz of liquid can be discarded at the Law and Justice Center. Needles, sharps, EpiPens cannot be dropped off.

Bertagnolli advises anyone getting rid of needles or EpiPens to ask a pharmacy for a plastic container which can be mailed to a facility to be destroyed. 

Year-round drop off boxes can be found at:

Belgrade Police Department* 91 E. Central Avenue Belgrade

Bozeman Police Department* 121 N. Rouse Avenue Bozeman

Highland Park Pharmacy 525 Highland Blvd. Bozeman

Helena Police Department & Lewis and Clark Sheriff 221 Breckenridge