Drug Take Back Day
In order to combat the overwhelming misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, Abeldt’s Pharmacy, Angelina Beautiful/Clean (AB/C), the Angelina County Sheriff's Department and The Coalition are partnering together on this initiative to address a vital public safety and public health issue. Last October, Americans turned in over 730,000 pounds of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 12 previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in over 7.1 million pounds of pills.
According to a Mayo Clinic study, nearly 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
“As members of the community, pharmacists are in a prime position to ensure the safe and proper handling of medication, from dispensing to disposal,” said Buford Abeldt. “Unused or expired medications pose risks to our families, communities, and the environment. We welcome all in the community to come and talk to our pharmacists about their prescriptions and how to store, use and dispose of them properly.”
In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards. Medicines that are flushed down the toilet can end up polluting our waters, impacting aquatic species, or contaminating our food and water supplies. Because most wastewater treatment plants or septic systems are not designed to remove medicines, drugs may be discharged to rivers and bays or back into our homes and communities. In addition, medicines thrown in the trash can end up in landfills if not first picked up by children, pets, or anyone who rummages through trash. Although modern landfills are well-designed, safe, and handle standard household waste well, medicines are a special type of hazardous chemical that needs to be kept out of our solid waste system which can affect the decay composition, integrity of the landfill barrier or create hazardous landfill liquid.
According to Jennifer La Corte, AB/C Executive Director, “Just as we do not put used motor oil or leftover paint thinner in the trash, we should not dispose of extremely potent pharmaceutical chemicals into trash cans or down the toilet. Our Drug Take Back event is an easy way to ‘drop the drugs’ and keep our community safe.”
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 29 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website. For more information on this or any other Angelina Beautiful/Clean program, please contact 936-63CLEAN (936-632-5326) or visit www.angelinabeautifulclean.org. For more information about keeping the youth of our community drug and tobacco free, contact The Coalition at 936-634-9308.