October 24 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It's a day aimed at providing a safe and convenient way for people to dispose of prescription drugs, while also raising awareness about the potential for misuse of medications. Improperly discarded medications have long posed environmental threats. In recent years, they have also led to an increase in accidental poisonings and overdoses.

Anyone with old or unused prescription medications in their home can drop them off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at St. Louis County Sheriff's Office locations in Hibbing (1810 12th Ave. E.) and Virginia (300 S. Fifth Ave.); and at the Public Safety Building in Duluth (2030 N. Arlington Ave.) in partnership with the Duluth Police Department. This is a no-questions-asked event.

Additionally, numerous law enforcement agencies, as well as CVS, Walgreens and Essentia pharmacies in St. Louis County offer secure disposal boxes where medications can be disposed of anonymously year-round. A list of locations, along with information about what is or isn't accepted, can be found online at stlouiscountymn.gov/medwaste.

"The opioid epidemic has taken a toll on communities throughout the country, and we want to promote responsible and timely disposal of medications," said Anna Clough, who is helping coordinate the local events for St. Louis County Public Health. "Rather than flushing medications down the drain, taking them when you shouldn't, or having them used by someone else, this is an easy way people can help fight against the opioid epidemic."

Anyone who is unable to get to a drop box or feels more comfortable staying home, may request a mail-back envelope. The pre-addressed postage-paid envelopes are free for people to use.

Medications are sent directly to an approved facility for safe disposal. To request an envelope, contact Anna Clough at (218) 471-7362 or email CloughA@StLouisCountyMN.gov.

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