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Environment & Energy

DEA'S Drug Take Back Day Helps Protect Wildlife in the Great Lakes

photo of pills
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs.

The DEA's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is set for Saturday. Great Lakes Today's Angelica Morrison explains how disposing of prescription drugs properly can help wildlife. 

The DEA's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will take place Saturday and New York Sea Grant is urging residents of the Great Lakes region to participate as a way to help protect fish and wildlife.

The organization says fish downstream from wastewater plants sometimes contain chemicals like estrogen from prescription drugs.

"It goes into our waterways if you flush these chemicals into our waterways they're going to stay in our waterways," said Kathy Bunting-Howarth, associate director for the New York Sea Grant.

The event gives residents a chance to take unused pharmaceuticals to collection sites as an alternative to flushing them down the toilet, she added.

A second National Take Back Day is scheduled for Sept. 29.

Bunting-Howarth says that on days when the take back program isn't offered, folks may be able to take unused drugs to a local pharmacy.

Find a prescription drug collection site near you at this link.

Great Lakes Today is a collaboration of WBFO Buffalo, WXXI Rochester and ideastream.