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Drug Take Back Day for expired prescriptions is Saturday nationwide

People can drop off expired and unwanted medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 15 designated sites in Nassau County and nine sites in Suffolk.

Suffolk County police officers collect expired and unwanted

Suffolk County police officers collect expired and unwanted prescription drugs at the Town of Babylon Senior Center in Copiague's Tanner Park during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in September 2015. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Expired and leftover medications can be dropped off Saturday at nearly two dozen sites on Long Island as part of a nationwide effort to get unused medications out of home medicine cabinets.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day focuses on the proper disposal of all types of medications, especially potentially dangerous narcotics. It is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Does the program have another purpose?

It also is aimed at discouraging people from flushing such substances down toilets, which poses a threat to groundwater and sea life.

What kinds of pills can be deposited at the designated drop-off sites?

Any kinds of prescription pills, tablets or capsules.

Where are the deposit sites on Long Island?

There are 14 sites in Nassau County and 10 in Suffolk. To find one near you, go to the National Prescription Drug Take Back website — www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/ — click on the sentence “Locate A Collection Site Near You” and enter your ZIP code or county/city/state.

What types of sites are involved in the take-back program locally?

Different institutions and agencies, from hospitals and universities to police stations.

Is there a specific time that deposits can be made?

Yes. The program runs Saturday from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m.

Does paperwork have to be filled out to drop off pills?

No. All drop-offs are anonymous. Large containers are provided.

Can medications from any drug category be deposited at designated sites?

Yes. Antibiotics, cholesterol-lowering medications, psychiatric drugs, birth control pills and painkillers — whatever prescriptions you have on hand that have expired or are unwanted can be deposited.

What if I cannot take advantage of this on Saturday?

Many of the participating sites offer disposal year-round. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which began in 2010, is held twice a year. The next such occasion will be in October.

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