UNION — Six pounds of unused, unwanted, and expired prescription medications were turned in at the Union Public Safety Department during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
The event, which was held Saturday, is sponsored by the US Drug Enforcement Administration. The goal of the one-day event is to make it convenient for the public to remove potentially dangerous prescription drugs from their homes. No questions are asked of anyone who brings in prescription medication for disposal.
Saturday’s event was the eighth one sponsored by the DEA and among the law enforcement agencies participating was the Union Public Safety Department.
Public Safety Director Sam White said Monday that a total of 6 pounds of prescription medication was turned in during the event which ran from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
“One man brought in some and said his wife had just gotten it filled and then they changed it,” White said. “He said he wanted to get rid of it the right way and so he brought it by.”
Prescription medication turned in to law enforcement during the take-back event is incinerated. White said this is a safer and more environmentally sound method of disposing of the medication than tossing it in the trash can or flushing it down the toilet. He pointed out that putting it in the trash raises the possibility that someone could find it and take it with potentially fatal results or it ends up in the landfill where it can become an environmental hazard. Flushing it down the toilet raises the possibility of it making its way into the water system and posing a hazard to both the environment and people.
Even though he’d liked to have seen more medication turned in Saturday, White said he was pleased with what was turned in.
“That’s six pounds that won’t be in the landfill or in the sewer system and that’s good,” White said.
White said his department will also participate in the next DEA prescription drug take-back event which he said will probably be held sometime in October.
Persons who have unused, unwanted, and expired prescription medication they want to dispose of in a safe manner do not, however, have to wait until October, but can bring it in to the public safety department throughout the year.
White said the department will accept, again with no questions asked, prescription medication turned in for disposal. He said the same is true for illegal drugs like marijuana.
As in the case of the DEA’s prescription drug take-back events, White said his department’s acceptance of prescription medication and other drugs for disposal is designed to ensure that they are disposed of in a safe manner.
Persons with unwanted or expired prescription medication or other drugs can bring them to the Union Public Safety Department, 215 Thompson Blvd., Union, at the rear of the fire department.
For more information on the department’s drug take-back program contact the Union Public Safety Department at 864-429-1713.