Saturday is the next date to dump those old prescription drugs.

In October, more than 188 tons of medications were collected across the country as part of the fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

The aim is twofold: Protect the water supply, and keep unwanted and expired medicines away from abusers.

Collections will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at thousands of sites across the country, including more than 100 in the Philadelphia area. Supermarkets, churches, municipal buildings and police stations are among the places taking part, under police supervision.

To find a location near you, go to the Office of Diversion Control's drug collection site search and enter a zip code.

Never flush prescription drugs down a toilet unless accompanying information advises doing so, according to the FDA. Most drugs can be disposed in household trash, but it's wise to put the pills into a sealed plastic bag filled with an unwanted substance such as coffee grounds or kitty litter, so children and trash pickers are less likely to be tempted.

But the safest way is to take advantage of the Take Back program, authorities say.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or