National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Oct. 23

PIERRE — The South Dakota Department of Health would like to remind all South Dakotans to dispose of any unused prescription drugs safely by taking part in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, this coming Saturday, October 23, 2021. Unused medication can be anonymously surrendered at multiple locations across the state or at police stations.   

“We all have a role to play in making sure unused medication does not fall into the wrong hands or is used in manners not directly prescribed by your doctor,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health. “Opioid addiction is a vicious cycle, and we can all work together to help stop it.”

Unused or easily accessible prescription drugs can be dangerous, especially for children, teens or even pets. The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that nearly 10 million Americans misused prescription pain relievers in 2019, and almost 5 million Americans misused stimulants.

During the Spring National Take-Back Day on April 24, 2020, over 1,600 pounds of unused medication was collected and destroyed at participating law enforcement locations. Additionally, over 700 pounds were collected through retail pharmacy receptables.

“As South Dakotans, we take pride in personal responsibility—this too extends to prescription drug disposal. Anyone needing further assistance can contact 211 for help,” added Malsam-Rysdon.   

Residents who wish to safely dispose of unwanted medicines but can’t make it to participation locations this Saturday, may request free DisposeRx packets available from the South Dakota Department of Social Services. These packets contain FDA-approved ingredients that chemically and physically neutralize prescription drugs when mixed with water. Request a free packet here.

For additional information and drop-off locations near you, please visit

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