ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day 2021 is happening at many locations throughout the Capital Region on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Disposing of medicines through take-back programs prevents accidental poisoning and protect the environment.

Studies show that prescription drug abuse, particularly opioids, in the U.S. is at an all-time high, as is the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses. The statistics are staggering; in 2019 nearly 10 million people misused prescription pain relievers, almost 5 million misused prescription stimulants, and close to 6 million people misused tranquilizers or sedatives, according to a national survey.

Two U.S. children die from poisoning and nearly 400 kids under the age of 19 are treated in emergency rooms daily after being poisoned, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Another shocking fact: A majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained by friends or family, often taken straight from the medicine cabinet. Parents and caregivers can protect children by taking advantage of drug take-back programs. Learn more by visiting

What’s more, environmental experts have known for years now that flushing medications negatively impact ecosystems and are encouraging people to use drug take-back programs.

Unwanted medicines should be disposed of properly like other household hazardous wastes. Returning your unwanted medicines to a take-back program is the safest and most environmentally protective way to dispose of unused medication.

In decades past, it was commonplace for people to get rid of unused, expired, or unwanted medications by flushing them down the toilet. Flushing expired or unused medications in the toilet or down a drain causes harm to the environment and aquatic animals, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“When flushed or thrown-out, these drugs can end up in our coastal ecosystems; and all the chemicals in those little pills that were once working together to make us feel better, are now dissolving in our waterways where they can negatively impact aquatic animals,” said Science Communications Specialist in the Atlantic Ecology Division of EPA’s Office of Research and Development, Sara Ernst.

National Drug Take-back Day locations

New York

Albany County

  • Albany Co. Sheriff’s Office- Patrol Station
  • Albany Police Dept.- CVS 885 Central Ave. Albany
  • Bethlehem Police Dept.- Elm Ave. Park front parking lot
  • Colonie Police Dept.
  • Guilderland Police Dept.- Public Library auxiliary parking lot
  • Watervliet Police Dept.

Columbia County

  • Chatham Police Dept.
  • Columbia Co. Sheriff’s Office
  • Hudson Police Dept.

Fulton County

  • Fulton Co. Sheriff’s Office
  • Gloversville Police Dept.- North parking lot of City Hall
  • Johnstown Police Dept.

Greene County

  • Cairo Police Dept.- CVS 7600 NY-32, Cairo
  • Coxsackie Police Dept.

Montgomery County

  • Amsterdam Police Dept.
  • Montgomery Co. Sheriff’s Office

Rensselaer County

  • East Greenbush Police Dept.
  • Hoosick Falls Police Dept.
  • North Greenbush Police Dept.
  • Rensselaer City Police Dept. Rensselaer Fire Dept. North End Fire House
  • Rensselaer Co. Sheriff’s Office- West Sand Lake Fire Dept.
  • Troy Police Dept.

Saratoga County

  • Mechanicville Police Dept.- CVS 12 S. Central Ave. Mechanicville
  • NYS Police Troop G- Clifton Park
  • Saratoga Co. Sheriff’s Office- Round Lake Fire Dept.
  • Saratoga Police Dept.- Maple Ave. behind City Hall

Schenectady County

  • Rotterdam Police Dept.
  • Schenectady Co. Sheriff’s Office- Schenectady Co. Sheriff’s Substation
  • Schenectady Police Dept.
  • Town of Glenville Police Dept.
  • Town of Niskayuna Police Dept. Niskayuna Town Hall

Schoharie County

  • SUNY Cobleskill, NYS University Police- SUNY Cobleskill Johnson Hall

Warren County

  • Warren Co. Sheriff’s Office

Washington County

  • Washington Co. Sheriff’s Office



  • Chesire Police Dept.
  • Pittsfield Police Dept.- John Soules



  • Bennington Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
  • Bennington Police Station
  • Manchester Public Safety Facility
  • Southwestern Vermont Medical Center
  • The Pharmacy
  • The Pharmacy Northshire
  • Winhall Police Department

Unable to get to a location on April 24? A list of controlled substance public disposal locations can be found on the DEA’s website.