Drug take back day is Saturday

DES MOINES — Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy head Susie Sher is encouraging everyone to take part in  the national Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday. 

“It’s safe, it’s free, it’s anonymous. And it serves as a reminder to people to clean out their medicine cabinet and get rid of any unused medication that they might have,” she says. 

Sher says it also ensures the medications are properly removed. “We know that sometimes those medications can fall into the hands of people that might accidentally or intentionally misuse them. And so this is a great way for everyone to contribute to preventing that from happening,” Sher says.

There are national take back days every year in the spring and fall. Sher says the results here show the events are successful. “In April alone, over 3800 pounds of old medication was turned in just here in Iowa,” she says. “And so far, in all of the take back days, there’s been over 98 tons of unused medications turned in, just in Iowa.” 

There is a website where you can find a place to take your unneeded prescription drugs. “You can go to DEAtakeback.com. And there you can put in your zip code, you can look for a location near you, and find a place where you can take your medications back on Saturday,” she says.  

There are also some 400 permanent drop off areas across the state. “Most of those are in pharmacies or law enforcement centers. You can find that information on our website on ODCP.iowa.gov. And you can look for prescription drug take back there,” Sher says. “And there’s a list there with some educational information and collection sites and shows you where those 400 locations are.” 

The national take back day Saturday runs from It will run from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Click here to find an interactive map to find north-central Iowa takeback locations.