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May 1, 2017

Health Department Announces New Prescription Drug Disposal Option

Pam Davenport - Email

Nicholas Rupp - Email

(Salt Lake County)—The Salt Lake County Health Department, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Mayor Ben McAdams announced today that the Salt Lake County Government Center will permanently host a secure prescription drug drop box for county residents to properly dispose of unwanted, unused and expired medicine. The drop box will be in the Government Center’s north building atrium at 2001 South State Street in Salt Lake City. It is the first Rx drop box to be installed in a non-law enforcement government facility in the state.

Health officials say that every month 36 people die from a  drug poisoning in Utah, and that from 2000 to 2014, Utah experienced a 398% increase in deaths associated with the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs.

“Prescription drug overdose is one of the leading causes of injury deaths in Utah,” said Gary Edwards, executive director of Salt Lake County Health Department. “Removing drugs you no longer need from your home is one way to help ensure those drugs don’t end up being abused or misused.”

“Throwing drugs in the trash or down a drain or toilet isn’t the answer, either,” continued Edwards, “because those drugs then end up contaminating our groundwater and soil, causing serious environmental ramifications to our wildlife and water system.”

The drug drop box is anonymous and can be easily accessed at the Government Center at 2001 South State Street.

Tips for disposal:

  • Keep the prescription drugs in their original container.
  • Remove all contact and prescription information or cover it over with a permanent marker.
  • Do not put the medications in a bag.
  • Drop boxes accept prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, patches, samples, powders, capsules and pet medications
  • The drop box cannot accept syringes, inhalers, chemotherapy medications, ointments, aerosols, liquids or thermometers.