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Outdated Pills, Patches, even Vitamins – Be gone! DEA-sponsored National Rx Take Back Day is This Saturday

Apr 26, 2019 12:04PM ● By Jennifer J Johnson

Saturday is the day for spring cleaning of out-of-date pills, patches, tablets, and other solids to 11 different locations across the valley. (Photo credit: Pixabay)

Jennifer J. Johnson | [email protected]

Has a loved one recently passed, leaving behind lots of partially-used prescription bottles?

Has spring cleaning surfaced vitamins that are days, weeks, months, years, even decades out of date?

Have you kicked your habit, but still have not tossed patches, thinking, slyly “just in case?”

It’s time to “take back.” And, thanks to local law enforcement’s partnership with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), this Saturday is “National Rx Take Back Day,” offering multiple locations throughout the Salt Lake Valley to safely, swiftly and without charge “drop off” out-of-date or partially-used prescriptions.

From 10 a.m.–2 p.m., valley residents are encouraged to bring out-of-date pills, patches, tablets, and other solid forms to a number of drop-off locations. Liquids, including intravenous solutions, syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs cannot be dropped off. 

“Unused… expired… no-longer needed medications” is how Unified Police’s Community Liaison Officer Kevin Mallory describes what to take back. “We work with the DEA to help coordinate these events. The goal is to try to get excess medications out of cabinets and destroyed. This limits access to children and others who should not have access.”

There are 6,000 collection sites around the nation. This is the DEA’s ninth-year offering this service, in conjunction with local law enforcement personnel and community organizations. For more information, consult local law enforcement or check out

According to the DEA, the service is free, anonymous, and a “no questions asked” environment. 

All drugs collected will be destroyed by DEA at Environmental Protection Agency-approved incinerators.

While law-enforcement agencies will accept out-of-date pills at their precincts, the DEA nationally sponsors two days per year, one in the spring and one in the fall, to spotlight the importance of responsible disposal. Almost a million pounds of pill waste was collected at last October’s Rx Take Back Day. Such proactive work is important to squelch national problems with prescription drug abuse and accidental overdose.

Sergeant Eric Anderson of the South Jordan Police Department, indicates their precinct’s receiving out-of-date pills ranging from multivitamins to “the heavy stuff” such as oxycodone.

Hillcrest High School Resource Officer Kyle Gleue says the Take Back event helps “a lot of people with a lot of medications that they did not know what to do with.” He recalls having collected 400 pounds of outdated meds in a single Take Back day, with multiple people hauling in “black trash bags full of medications.”

“The big thing is that people aren’t flushing them (pills) down the toilet, polluting the ground water,”
observes Gary Keller, executive officer for South Salt Lake Police Department. Keller’s team at the new Walgreens in South Salt Lake will include two officers and a crime analyst, available to answer questions.





Draper City Police Dept./ Walmart Neighborhood Market

1360 East Draper Pkwy
(Table inside entrance)


Unified Police Dept./
Hillcrest High School

7350 South 900 East
(801) 826-6019


Unified Police Dept./
Millcreek Community Center
(West side of building)

2266 E Evergreen Ave

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City Police Dept./
Salt Lake City Public Safety Bldg.

475 South 300 East

Salt Lake City

University of Utah Police Dept./
Public Safety Building

1735 E. South Campus Dr.
(East Parking Lot)


Sandy Police Dept./
Sandy PD

10000 Centennial Pkwy #111

South Jordan

SoJo Police Dept./
SoJo Public Safety Building

10655 S Redwood Rd

South Salt Lake

South Salt Lake Police Dept./

3250 South 700 East
(North of Walgreens building)


Unified Police Dept./
Taylorsville City Hall

2600 Taylorsville Blvd

West Jordan

West Jordan Police Dept./

8040 S Redwood Rd

West Valley

West Valley Police Dept./
CVS Pharmacy
(Inside front doors)

3148 West 3500 South