Dispose of old or unwanted medications properly this Saturday

Dispose of your unwanted and unused medication safely this Saturday, April 26. It’s the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative.

Leaving unused pharmaceuticals in the medicine cabinet creates a public health and safety concern because these drugs are  highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the rate of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. is alarmingly high; almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) abuse prescription drugs than the number of those abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

However, unused medication of any type should never be thrown in the trash or flushed down the toilet. Doing so in the past has led to widespread contamination of water supplies.

The good news is, public participation is at an all-time high after six events over the past three years. Saturday’s event will be the eighth, and will feature take back events at thousands of sites across the United States. Collection sites are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

You can find a nearby collection site by visiting the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Diversion Control, and then following the instructions to find a take-back site near you.  You can also call 800-882-9539.

To read more about the initiative and see a list of local drop-off sites, check out this article from The Express-Times.