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September 26, 2014

BISMARCK, ND – Tomorrow is national prescription drug “Take Back Day.” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem reminds North Dakota residents who want to know how to safely dispose of unused prescription and over the counter medications that they can turn to the state’s year-round Take Back program.

Medications can be dropped into the Take Back containers 365 days a year. North Dakota is the only state in the nation that offers its residents a permanent, year round, statewide program to safely dispose of unused and unwanted medications. Other disposal methods, such as flushing medications or mixing them with coffee grounds or cat litter, can create environmental hazards.

Over 1,720 pounds of OxyContin, Fentanyl, Prozac, and other drugs that had been collected from Take Back containers during the past six months were destroyed in a controlled burn conducted this month.

More than four tons (8,340 pounds) of unused prescription drugs and over the counter medications have been collected and destroyed since the state’s Take Back program started in December 2009.

North Dakotans are encouraged to bring unwanted medications – their own or those of family members – to the Take Back location in their community. Take Back disposal containers are available at 42 sites across 36 counties, providing service to more than 90% of the state’s population. A list of the North Dakota Take Back sites is available at Most sites are open 24 hours a day.

Pills and tablets can be emptied directly into the Take Back containers but liquid and cream medications must be left in the original containers. To preserve patient confidentiality, remove or black out the label.  

Residents wishing to hold special “Take Back” events or request a permanent Take Back disposal site in their community should contact their local law enforcement agency.

More information about the state’s Take Back program is available on the “Drug Take Back” link on the Attorney General’s website.

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