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National Prescription Drug Take Back event POSTPONED Saturday, April 25, 2020

Permanent year-round drop boxes are available in Vail, Avon, Edwards, and Eagle. 

Eagle County, CO. - Law enforcement agencies across the country will not be participating in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday, April 25, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

As we all know, the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has made a big impact on our communities with health concerns and government restrictions put in place across the globe.  We would however still like to encourage everyone to take a moment to clean out your medicine cabinets and homes of all unwanted, expired, or unused medications and to continue to dispose of them safely. The disposal is always free and anonymous with no questions asked at all locations.  Below is information about the various permanent collection sites that are still accessible here in Eagle County.
If you plan to go out on essential errands, please remember to follow current public health guidelines, such as; wearing a facial covering and using six-foot social distancing when you drop off items at a dropbox near you. Please stay home if you are feeling sick.

Getting rid of unused medication helps prevent the accidental and intentional misuse of prescription medications. Local organizations including the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District support the safe disposal of medications because it helps to protect water sources by keeping drugs out of wastewater and landfills. 

All items collected are incinerated in an environmentally friendly manner by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which spearheads the national effort. Locally, the DEA’s National Take-Back Initiative is coordinated by the Safe Drug Disposal Program, which is a partnership among local agencies including the Vail Police Department, Avon Police Department, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Vail Health, Eagle County, and Eagle River Water & Sanitation District. 

Items that can be dropped off are vitamins, supplements, medicated ointments/lotions, over-the-counter, and prescription medications, including controlled substances (narcotics). Please, no needles (sharps) or pressurized canisters. 

Not sure what you can drop off?  Watch this great video with fun details:  

Public safety and public health:
This initiative addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. Unused prescription medications in homes can be accidentally ingested, stolen, misused, and abused. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. Also, Americans know that outdated methods for disposing of unused medicines such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, pose potential safety and health hazards.
In 2014, new regulations made the disposal of controlled prescription drugs easier for patients and their caregivers. Since then, law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics have begun a continuous collection of these medications. 

Year-round disposal sites:
There are currently five permanent medication take-back receptacles in the Eagle River valley. The Vail Police Department, Avon Police Department, and Eagle County Sheriff’s Office each host a dropbox as part of the Colorado Household Medication Take-Back Program sponsored by the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. 

The green drug disposal drop boxes are located inside the main doors at the Vail municipal building, Avon public safety facility, and the Eagle County Justice Center in Eagle. These law enforcement drop boxes can accept unwanted medications – including controlled substances (narcotics) such as codeine, valium, phenobarbital, and others – during regular business hours. The year-round disposal service is free and items may be deposited anonymously with no questions asked.  

The Vail Pharmacy located inside Vail Health Hospital and the Edwards Pharmacy located inside the Shaw Pavilion, also accept unwanted medications, free of charge, during regular business hours. These businesses ask that anyone needing to drop off medications for disposal at this time to please call ahead for a pick-up or more information as access to the buildings may be limited due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Please call Edwards Pharmacy at (970) 569-7676 or the Vail Pharmacy at (970) 479-7253 for more information. 

Last year’s take-back day stats:
In October 2019, Americans turned in 441.5 tons (882,919 pounds) of prescription drugs at 6,174 collection sites set up by the DEA and its 4,896 law enforcement and community partners across the nation. In Colorado, 60 law enforcement agencies collected 7.9 tons (15,872 pounds) of prescription drugs at 97 collection sites. 

The DEA along with its law enforcement partners have now collected nearly 12.7 million pounds of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative in 2010.

To locate a collection site nearest you, visit or call 800-882-9539.

For more information, visit or go to