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Local results from National Drug Take Back Day

 Contact: Shannon Cordingly, Public Information Officer, 970-376-7000 or  



Local law enforcement agencies collected over 98 pounds of unused medications on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.  The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office collected 74 pounds, the Vail Police Department collected 24 pounds, and the Minturn Police Department collected 13.09 ounces.  This national initiative was coordinated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The medications turned in were safely disposed of by the DEA using an environmentally friendly incineration process. 





Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and theft.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.  


Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards. Proper drug disposal keeps pills and other pharmaceuticals out of the waste stream – both the sewer system and the landfill – which reduces the amount of drugs in waste water and protects local rivers.  


Local Law Enforcement agencies and the Vail Valley Medical Center have teamed up to make everyday a Drug Take Back Day.  Vail Valley Medical Center pharmacies in the hospital and at the Edwards Pavilion will accept unused and expired medications (prescription and over-the-counter medicines, but not narcotics, IV bags or needles) free of charge by bringing the drugs in their original stock containers and placing them in the “take back bins.”  The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Vail Police Department, and the Minturn Police Department will accept prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and narcotics.  All of the drugs collected are placed into an incinerator and destroyed.  Drug disposal at all locations is free of charge and no personal information is collected.