Attorney General Wilson encourages South Carolinians to safely dispose of unwanted medications Saturday

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 24, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson encourages all South Carolinians to take part in National Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, October 26th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Twice a year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) proclaims a national day to ask everyone to safely dispose of unused medication. At the last National Take Back Day last April, Americans collected a record-breaking 937,443 pounds of prescription drugs, more than the weight of three Boeing 757s.

There are approximately 6,000 locations nationwide where you can drop off your unused or unwanted medicines. To find a location near you, go to

“There’s no question that South Carolina has an opioid crisis and this is a way anyone with unused opioids can fight that,” Attorney General Wilson said. “We know that most people who are prescribed opioids don’t use all of them. We also know that most people who start using heroin did so after first becoming addicted to prescription opioids.”

A 2017 study found that up to 92 percent of patients prescribed opioids did not use their full prescription. Another study found that nearly 80 percent of Americans who recently started using heroin reported misusing prescription opioids first.

Go to your medicine cabinet or wherever you keep medicine and check for any unused or expired medications, including opioids. Opioids go by many names, including Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet, Opana, tramadol, morphine, Kadian, and Avinz.

Every day, 47 people in the U.S. die from overdoses involving prescription opioids. Just because something is prescribed doesn’t mean it is safe for all purposes. Each year, more than 11 million Americans abuse or misuse prescription pain medicines. The majority of those cases come from taking drugs from a family member’s or friend’s prescription.

Senior citizens are especially likely to keep unused pills. A grandparent’s medicine cabinet is an easy place for teenagers or other loved ones to fuel their addiction. Check your own medicine cabinet first and encourage loved ones to clean out their unused medications too.

But it’s not just opioids that pose a threat if not disposed of properly. Unused or expired medications can lead to accidental poisoning, misuse, and overdose. Proper disposal saves lives and protects the environment.

For the first time, Take Back Day will be accepting vaping devices and vaping cartridges for disposal as well. However, the sites cannot accept vaping devices that have a lithium battery that cannot be removed. If the battery can be removed, please do so or it can be removed at the Take Back drop-off location.

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Welcome to the on-line office for Attorney General Alan Wilson. Please visit the Contact Us page to stay in touch.

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Columbia, SC

Rembert Dennis Building | 1000 Assembly Street,

Room 519 | Columbia, S.C. 29201

Phone: 1-803-734-3970 | Fax: (803) 253-6283

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