National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
Posted on 10/20/2021




October 20, 2021

Gary Jenkins, Chief of Police

Pullman Police Department

(509) 334-0802


National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day


October 23, 2021 is the 21st National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This nationwide event addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019. The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.


Unused or expired prescription medications pose serious public safety risks, leading to potential accidental poisoning, misuse and overdose. While it was common practice in the past to dispose of medications by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, both practices are prone to potential health and safety hazards, including increased risk of drugs making it into the wrong hands and potential impact on aquatic life.


Since 2010, Pullman has been providing members of the public with access to a prescription drug drop-box, available 24/7 in the Police Department lobby. Since then, the Pullman Police Department has collected and disposed of more than 3,400 pounds of prescription drugs. During the previous Take-Back Day in April of this year, citizens throughout America turned in 420 tons of prescription drugs. Over the 10-year span of Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 7,262 tons of prescription drugs. To find a local community collection site, please visit


When transporting prescription drugs, state law requires that they be in the original prescription containers with the labels attached. It is illegal to possess prescription drugs outside of the original container, or to possess those prescribed to someone else. The prescription labeling can be removed at the Police Department, or the drugs may be placed in available plastic zipper bags, labeled with the drug name. By using the prescription drug drop box, your discarded drugs will be incinerated at a facility approved by the EPA and Washington Department of Ecology. Pullman PD will accept all prescription medication from individuals only; medical offices and care facilities should follow protocol with their contracted disposal vendors.