October 26 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Where to take yours in Birmingham


121 Dilaudid,” by The.Comedian. CC BY 2.0

Have you wondered how to safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs in Birmingham?  Wonder no more. 

October 26, 2019 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Below is more about it and where you can dispose of medicines in the Birmingham area, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama kiosks at select Walgreens locations. 

Drug take back kiosk at Walgreens. Photo via Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama 

Why is there a Drug Take Back Day?

The goal of Drug Take Back Day is to provide a safe, convenient way for people to dispose of their unused prescription medications. Why does this matter? 

What about flushing unused meds or putting them in the trash?

While its true that most medicines can be thrown in the trash, the FDA has very specific guidelines for doing so. Some meds, including fentanyl patches (a powerful opioid–more on that in a moment), are just too dangerous to toss in the trash–it’s better to flush them. However, the FDA says the best way to dispose of unused medications is to take them to a drug take back site. 

Pay attention to opioids

Unused opioids, including fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine, are a significant health concern. In 2017, there were 107 opioids prescriptions per 100 people in Alabama–the highest rate of any state in the country. While opioids are a vital part of some patients’ pain management plans, they are among the most commonly misused drugs in the nation.

Where to take your drugs

Drug take back kiosk at Walgreens. Photo via Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama partnered with Walgreens to introduce 13 safe medication disposal kiosks in select Walgreens throughout Alabama last year. The Birmingham-area locations are below:

  • 9325 Parkway E., Birmingham, AL 35215
  • 1815 9th Ave. N., Bessemer, AL 35020
  • 1801 Montgomery Hwy S., Hoover, AL 35244

While the list above includes year-round drug take back kiosks, you can also take your unused medications to the locations below on Drug Take Back Day, or search for a location close to you here

Vestavia Hills Police Department
3241 Cahaba Heights Rd, Vestavia Hills, AL 35243

Greystone YMCA
5414 US-280, Birmingham, AL 35242

Alabama Board of Pharmacy
111 Village St, Birmingham, AL 35242

Hoover Police Department
100 Municipal Dr, Birmingham, AL 35216

Jefferson County Sheriff Department
2651 Center Point Rd, Pinson, AL 35126

Trussville Police Department
131 Main St, Trussville, AL 35173

Hueytown Walmart
1007 Red Farmer Dr, Hueytown, AL 35023

Pelham Walmart
2181 Pelham Pkwy, Pelham, AL 35124

Chelsea Winn Dixie
150 Chelsea Corners Way, Chelsea, AL 35043

Dick’s Sporting Goods: Alabaster
200 S Colonial Dr, Alabaster, AL

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office: McCalla
5977 Eastern Valley Rd, McCalla, AL 35111

If you have any unused prescriptions laying around, consider taking them to one of these spots on October 26! 

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