Mayo Clinic Health System is partnering with the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department and the Mankato Department of Public Safety to collect unwanted prescription medications – no questions asked from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27.

The effort is part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, organized by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The drop off site is at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, located at 1025 Marsh Street. Participants are asked to use the Specialty Clinic entranceway. Anyone can bring their expired, unneeded or unwanted prescriptions to the Specialty Clinic entrance. Please note we cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps; only pills or patches.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April, Americans turned in 390 tons (over 780,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,400 of its state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its eight previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 4.1 million pounds—more than 2,100 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Drop off boxes are also available throughout the year at two locations in Mankato:

• Blue Earth County Justice Center, 401 Carver Road (M-F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

• Mankato Public Safety Center, 710 South Front Street

Customer Service Representative and Editorial Assistant for the Le Center Leader, Le Sueur News-Herald, St. Peter Herald and the Waseca County News.

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