WINSTON-SALEM – To help ensure the safe disposal of unused medications, Novant Health is encouraging members of the community to clean out their medicine cabinets October 28, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Novant Health is hosting special events in Winston-Salem and Wilmington in honor of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The health system also has permanent medication take back containers in its hospital lobbies for year-round disposal as part of its sustainability goals and initiatives. Anyone in the community may use the containers free of charge to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription and/or over-the-counter medications. Locations include:

Greater Charlotte area locations:

  • Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center, 10030 Gilead Road, Huntersville, NC, 28078
  • Novant Health Matthews Medical Center, 1500 Matthews Township Parkway, Matthews, NC 28105
  • Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center, 8201 Healthcare Loop, Charlotte, NC 28215
  • Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, 200 Hawthorne Lane, Charlotte, NC 28204
  • Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, 612 Mocksville Ave., Salisbury, NC 28144

Greater Winston-Salem area locations:

Special event Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Bolton Elementary School (1250 Bolton St., Winston-Salem). The drive-thru event is in conjunction with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department and Inmar Intelligence, a drug stewardship operator and leader in pharmaceutical reverse distribution. All medications and sharps/syringes will be accepted.

Permanent container locations:

  • Novant Health Clemmons Medical Center, 6915 Village Medical Circle, Clemmons, NC 27012
  • Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, 3333 Silas Creek Parkway. Winston-Salem, NC 27103
  • Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center, 1750 Kernersville Medical Parkway, Kernersville, NC 27284
  • Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center, 207 Old Lexington Road, Thomasville, NC 27360

Coastal region locations:

Special, drive-thru event Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at:

  • Novant Health New Hanover Medical Plaza, 2243 S. 17th St., Wilmington
  • Novant Health Scotts Hill Outpatient Surgery Center, 9104 Market St., Wilmington

The following will be accepted at this event: All medications, syringes, electronic cigarette and vaping devices with batteries removed.

Permanent container locations:

  • Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center, 240 Hospital Drive NE, Bolivia, NC 28422
  • Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center Outpatient Pharmacy, 2131 S. 17th St., Wilmington, NC, 28401
  • Novant Health Emergency Department – Scotts Hill, 151 Scotts Hill Medical Drive, Wilmington, NC, 28411
  • Novant Health Pender Medical Center, 507 E. Fremont St., Burgaw, NC, 28425

Prescription drugs are the second most common type of illicitly used drugs, only behind marijuana. According to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.3 million people over age 12 reported misusing a prescription pain reliever in the prior year, with just under half of respondents reporting they received the medication from a friend or relative. Prescription pain relievers are not the only risk, however, with 5.1 million people reporting misuse of prescription stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin in the past year, and another 4.8 million people reporting benzodiazepine misuse.