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University of Colorado Denver


Community Newsroom

Prescription Drug Disposal Day

Drug Disposal Day Logo

CU Anschutz will participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Take Back Initiative on Sept. 26. Drug Take-Back Day is meant to raise awareness about the safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs, as well as educate the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. This is CU Anschutz's sixth year participating.

“Prescription drug abuse and misuse is a serious problem in Colorado,” said Robert J. Valuck, PhD, RPh, FNAP, a professor at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “Knowing that up to 200 million pounds of filled prescriptions went unused in 2013, the question is where is it going? Is it going down the drain? Or being used by friends or family members to whom it wasn’t prescribed? Both are dangerous options which we want people to avoid. Clearly, we need to do a significant amount of public awareness and provider education on safe use, safe storage and safe disposal as a starting point.”

This year’s event is co-sponsored by the University of Colorado Anschutz Police Department who along with the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will collect unused and expired medications on Saturday, September 26 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus (I-225 and Colfax in Aurora). Once collected, the DEA will transport and incinerate the drugs. Both now and after the take back event, the University Police Department will have a permanent drop off box in its lobby in Bldg.407 available 24/7.

Pharmacists and pharmacy students will be available during the take back day to answer questions about the medications you are currently taking and will help you to complete the Skaggs School’s medication tracking card, which you can share with your health care providers. 

The event is supported by the DEA, the University of Colorado Anschutz Police Department, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Gov. John Hickenlooper, the State Attorney General, and the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.

To learn about additional drop off locations, visit the Take Meds Seriously website or the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administrationor call 800-882-9539 for the location nearest you. The following items cannot be accepted: needles & sharps, mercury (thermometers), oxygen containers, chemotherapy/radioactive substances, pressurized canisters, and illicit drugs.​​​​