Lincoln – A small act can make a big difference. Leftover prescription drugs, especially those related to pain management, present risks for overdoses, poisoning, or misuse. Take a few minutes and dispose of leftover or expired medications.
According to the Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than 50 percent of those using prescription painkillers for non-medical use obtained those drugs from a family member or a friend. In 2020, more than 92,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, a nearly 30% increase over 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Nebraska pharmacies and law enforcement agencies have an easy and anonymous solution for you, whether that’s dropping off used medications at your local pharmacy any day with the Nebraska MEDS program, or participating in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) twice-yearly, large-scale, no-questions-asked Take-Back Day events.
The DEA’s next formal Take-Back Day is Saturday, October 23 from 10 am to 2 pm. Participating agencies in Nebraska are listed below. But many Nebraska pharmacies offer ways to dispose of unwanted medications every day that their doors are open. A partial list is below, and additional locations can be found on the Nebraska MEDS Coalition’s website, nebraskameds.org. Nebraska MEDS, of which Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is a partner, is a coalition of state and community partners dedicated to educating residents about the safe disposal of prescription and over-the-counter medications. In addition to educational work, the coalition supports disposal programs that allow residents to dispose of unused and leftover medications.
Sites will accept prescription medication (be sure to remove identifying patient labeling); over-the-counter medication; creams, lotions, or ointments; liquid medication less than four ounces; pet medication, and all of the above in pill, tablet, and capsule form. The drug disposal program does not accept needles, syringes, or lancets; rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide; home-based care or medical equipment supplies; liquid medication greater than four ounces, or thermometers.
During the April 2021 Take-Back Day, the DEA nationally gathered 839,543 lbs. (420 tons) of medications at 5,060 collection sites with the help of 4,425 law enforcement agencies nationally. In Nebraska, since January, Nebraska MEDS has collected more than 18,901 pounds of medications. The coalition has accepted more than 158,194 pounds of medications since 2016.
“Please dispose of any unused or expired prescription medicine as soon as possible,” said Sheri Dawson, director of the Division of Behavioral Health at Nebraska DHHS. “Timely disposal of prescription medicine can reduce the risk of others taking the medication accidentally or misusing the medication. Participating in a Drug Take-Back event can save someone’s life.” Dawson added that Nebraska’s Behavioral Health Regions have also distributed more than 332 home lock-boxes in the past year.
“We are lucky that every day in Nebraska is take-back day,” said Amy Holman, project coordinator for the Nebraska Pharmacists Association. “We want all Nebraskans to help make sure these medications don’t end up in our groundwater, lead to an unintentional poisoning or get into the wrong hands. Around 296 pharmacies throughout the state participate in the program. You can even pick up a take-away envelope that is pre-paid, the next time you are at the pharmacy. Gather up your prescriptions, fill the envelope and drop it in the mail.”
The following DEA Take-Back locations will accept medications between 10 am and 2 pm on Saturday, October 23:
- Bellevue Police Department, 1510 Wall St., Bellevue
- Blair Police Department, 1730 Lincoln St., Blair
- Box Butte County Sheriff’s Office, 512 Niobrara Ave., Alliance
- Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office at Kearney Good Samaritan Hospital, 10 E. 31st St., north parking lot, Kearney
- Chadron Police Department, 125 N. Main St., Chadron
- Fremont Police Department, 725 N Park Ave., Fremont
- Grand Island Police Department, at Super Saver, 710 W. State St., Grand Island
- Holdrege Police Department, 813 5th Ave.,, Holdrege
- Imperial Police Department, 637 Broadway St., Imperial
- Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, 606 3rd St., Fairbury
- La Vista Police Department, 7701 S. 96th St., La Vista
- Omaha Police Department, at HyVee, 747 N, 132nd St. and 8809 W. Center Rd.; and at Walgreens, 3121 S.24th St. and 3005 Lake St.
- Ralston Police Department, at Walgreens, 8380 Harrison St., La Vista
- Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office, at HyVee, 11650 S.73rd St., Papillion
Any day can be a takeback day in Nebraska, as many pharmacies and health centers have permanent drop boxes. In Nebraska, they include, but are not limited to:
- Adams Drug, 513 Broadway, Imperial
- Alliance Community Pharmacy, 315 Box Butte Ave., Alliance
- Anderson Pharmacy, 1429 M St., Ord
- Apothecary Shop, 958 Wellness Way, Ste. 2, Pender
- Arapahoe Pharmacy, 507 Nebraska Ave., Arapahoe
- Ashland Pharmacy, 1401 Silver St., Ashland
- Beatrice Community Hospital, 4800 Hospital Pkwy, Beatrice
- Benkelman Pharmacy, 509 Chief St., Benkelman
- Bloomfield Pharmacy, 105 S. Broadway Ste. 1, Bloomfield
- Boone County Sheriff’s Office, 217 S. 5th St., Albion
- Brehm Drug, 608 Howard Ave., Saint Paul
- Burwell Pharmacy, 137 Grand St., Burwell
- Butler County Pharmacy, 372S. 9th St., David City
- Carl T. Curtis Health Education Center, 100 Indian Hills Dr., Macy
- Charlie’s U-Save Pharmacy, 2029 Lincoln Ave., York
- Clabaugh Pharmacy, 501 Court St., Beatrice
- Cancer Partners of Nebraska, 201 S. 68th Pl., Ste 200, Lincoln
- Cody’s U-Save Pharmacy, 2220 J St., Auburn
- Corner Drug, 301 N. Oakland Ave., Oakland
- Dave’s Pharmacy, 223 Box Butte Ave., Alliance; 508 Niobrara Ave., Hemingford
- Elgin Pharmacy, 112 S.2nd St., Elgin
- Elmwood Pharmacy, 808 S. 52nd St., Omaha
- Farrell’s Pharmacy, 120 W. B St., McCook
- Fulmer Pharmacy, 1317 Hill St., Holdrege
- Gering U-Save Pharmacy, 1400 10th St., Gering
- Globe Rexall Drug, 424 E St., Fairbury
- Good Life Discount Pharmacy, 124 S. 4th St., Albion; 727 O St., Loup City
- Gothenburg Discount Pharmacy, 902 Avenue D., Gothenburg
- Hays Pharmacy, 706 W. Main St., Alma
- Heart City Drug, 110 N. Main ST., Valentine
- Henderson Pharmacy, 1060 Main St., Henderson
- Hilltop Drugs, 108 W. 11th St., Neligh
- Holcomb Pharmacy, 530 S. 8th Ave., Broken Bow
- HyVee, 3010 23rd St., Columbus; 840 E.23rd Ave. North, Fremont; 115 Wilmar Ave., Grand Island; 5020 N.27th St, 5010 O St., 1601 N.84th St, 6001 Village Drive, 7151 Stacy Lane, Lincoln; 120E. Norfolk Ave., and 2107 Taylor Ave., Norfolk; 17810 Welch Plz., 1000 S. 178th St, 16418 Westside Dr, 14591 Stony Brook Blvd., 3410 N. 156th St., 9707 Q St., 747 N.132nd St.,8809 W. Center St., 10808 Fort St., 7910 Cass St., 5150 Center St., 8404 N. 30th St., Omaha; 11650 S.73rd, Papillion; 16418 Westside Dr., Plattsmouth; 500 Plaza Dr., West Point
- Johnson County Hospital, 202 High St., Tecumseh
- Kex Rx Pharmacy and Home Care, 120 E. 18th St., Falls City
- Lake Crest Pharmacy, 620 Main St. Ste B, Adams
- Lambert’s Family Pharmacy, 814 N. 1st St., Gibbon
- Lexington Regional Medical Center, 1201 N. Erie St., Lexington
- Kohll’s RX, 808 N. 27th St, Lincoln; 12741 Q Street, 5002 Dodge St., 2915 Leavenworth St., Omaha
- Mark’s Pharmacy, 624 Patterson, Cambridge
- Nebraska Medical Center Bellevue Pharmacy, 2510 Bellevue Medical Center Dr., Ste. 100, Bellevue
- Neighborhood Pharmacy, 1265 S. Cotner Blvd., Suite 30, Lincoln; 5115 S.11th St., Omaha
- Nein Pharmacy, 1012 Main St., Bridgeport
- Nemaha County Hospital, 2022 S. 13th St., Auburn
- Our Town Pharmacy, 733 2nd St., Chappell
- Osmond Pharmacy, 322 State St., Osmond
- Petersen Drug, 302 Main St., Chadron
- Relycare Pharmacy, 1221 N. Cotner Blvd., Ste 1, Lincoln
- Rock County Pharmacy, 801 S. State St., Bassett
- Ron’s Pharmacy, 537 Gage St., Blue Hill
- Safeway Pharmacy, 500 E. 3rd St., Alliance
- Schuyler Pharmacy, 122 W. 16th St., Schuyler
- Service Drug Store, 133 E. 8th St., Cozad
- Seven Valleys Health Mart, 200 E. Pacific St., Calloway
- Stockman’s Drug, 116 N. Main St., Gordon
- Tooley’s Pharmacy, 415 Hawkeye St., Osceola
- University of Nebraska Health Center Pharmacy, 550 N.19th St., Lincoln
- U-Save Pharmacy, 3611 2nd Ave., Kearney, 603 N. Washington, Lexington; 1821 S. 11th St., Nebraska City; 1001 W. Benjamin Ave., Norfolk; 23 N. Spruce St., Ogallala
- Varney Health Mart, 744 S. E St., Broken Bow
- Via Rx, 825 N.90th St., Omaha
- Village Pharmacy, 317 N. Webster St., Red Cloud
- Walgreens, 2320 23rd St., Columbus; 2516 Second Ave., Kearney; 1701 South St, 7045 O St, Lincoln; 2605 S.171st St, 13155 W. Center Rd, 3701 N.132nd St., 9001 Blondo St., 5038 Center St., Omaha; 205 W.27th St., Scottsbluff
- Wal-Mart Pharmacy, 1882 Holly St., Blair; 818 E. 23rd St., Columbus; 1800 E. 29th St., Crete; 2831 Hwy.15, Fairbury; 3010 E. 23rd Ave North, Fremont; 11350 Wickersham Blvd., Gretna; 3803 Osborne Dr., Hastings; 4700 N. 27th Street; 200 Frontier St., Lexington; 7045 O Street, 8700 Andermatt Dr., Lincoln; 1401 S. Dewey, North Platte; 8525 S.71st Plz., Papillion; 1326 280th Rd, Seward; 101 E. David Dr., York
- Wells Drug, 113 S.4th St., Albion
- West Holt Pharmacy, 313 W. Pearl St., Atkinson
- Wisner Apothecary, 1024 Ave E. St.100, Wisner
- Valley Pharmacy, 211 W.33rd St., Kearney
Pharmacies not listed who would like to join the program should email email@example.com or call the Nebraska Pharmacists Association at 402-420-1500.
For information about substance use disorder treatment, call the Nebraska Family Helpline at 1-888-866-8660. They can help callers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with any problem. Interpreters are available. Online, please visit http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Addiction-Treatment-and-Recovery.aspx.
Need to talk or get immediate help in a crisis?
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish.
- Nebraska Family Helpline, (888) 866-8660. They can engage Crisis Response Teams
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Rural Response Hotline, (800) 464-0258
- Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (oprime dos para Español), or text TalkWithUs for English or llámanos para español to 66746.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
- National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
- The Eldercare Locator: 1-800-677-1116