BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health and the Bismarck Police Department will be hosting a prescription drug take-back event on Wednesday, October 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Burleigh County Senior Center.

The take-back program was launched in December 2009, with the goal of providing the community with safe and responsible ways to quickly dispose of prescription drugs and medicine, while also raising awareness about the potential of prescription drug abuse.

“Prescription opioid abuse and overdose is a growing concern in North Dakota,” says SAP Coordinator of Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health Susan Kahler in a press release. “Unused medications are a public health and safety concern. The Take Back program provides residents with an easy and convenient way to dispose of unused and unwanted over-the-counter and prescription medications, to protect the environment and keep drugs off the streets and into the wrong hands.”

The following unused or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications will be accepted at the event:

  • Pills, tablets, and caplets removed from their packaging
  • Inhalers, nebulizer solutions, liquids, and creams in their original containers
  • Controlled substances
  • Pain relief prescriptions (Vicodin, Demerol, OxyContin, Fentanyl, etc.)
  • Anti-Depressant Prescriptions (Valium, Prozac, Zoloft, etc.)
  • Sleep Aids (Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, etc.)

Likewise, the following items will not be accepted during the take-back event under any circumstances:

  • Sharps- syringes and lancets
  • Thermometers
  • Glass
  • Home-based care (HBC) or durable medical equipment (DME) supplies
  • Pharmacy Inventory

Residents are advised to ask their pharmacists about the safe disposal of these items.

“Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the community,” said Bismarck Police Officer Caity Horne in the release. “Access is a key risk factor for abuse and addiction of prescription opioid medication. If we reduce the accessibility of unused or expired medications, the fewer drugs there are to be misused, and fewer people will be at risk for abuse, addiction, overdose, and even death.”

In addition to the event, North Dakota is the only state which operates free, year-round drug disposal programs at pharmacies and law enforcement offices. For a complete list of takeback locations throughout ND, visit this page.