HCN News & Notes

Non-veterans Can Dispose of Medications at VA Central Western Massachusetts on Oct. 28

LEEDS — Members of the public can now dispose of expired prescriptions, including controlled substances, at VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System (VACWM) in Leeds on Take Back Day, Friday, Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The VA is aligning with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), welcoming non- veterans to its health facilities across the nation for the purpose of safe and secure drug disposal on designated dates during the year. Any member of the public is welcome, whether or not they have any affiliation to veterans or the VA.

“I encourage people to dispose of old and unused prescriptions in this safe and secure manner,” said Duane Gill, medical center director. “It’s important for each of us to clean out our medicine cabinets regularly and to dispose of medications to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our environment.”

This action is the result of legislation signed into law by President Biden on July 29, 2021. The Dispose Unused Medications and Prescription (DUMP) Opioids Act requires the VA to establish designated time periods when veterans and non-veterans can dispose of opioids and other controlled-substance medications at covered VA facilities. A covered facility is a VA medical facility with an onsite pharmacy and/or a physical location dedicated for law-enforcement purposes.

Veterans enrolled for VA care can bring their expired and unused medications to their VA site of care for disposal any time by contacting their local VA Police Service or VA Pharmacy.