By Charles Warner
UNION — This Saturday is the 10th Annual Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and residents of Union County who have expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medication and want a safe way to dispose of them can do so at the Union Public Safety Department.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration is partnering with law enforcement agencies across the country to encourage people to take part in Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription medication.
In Union County, they can do so at the Union Public Safety Department which is partnering with the Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse for a special “Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs” event. Persons with expired, unused and unwanted medication may bring to the public safety office at 215 Thompson Boulevard on Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and drop them into the Med Return Drug Collection Unit in the lobby with no questions asked.
Starlin Phelps, Prevention Coordinator for UCCADA, said that the event give the people of Union County the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by removing from their homes potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Phelps pointed out that medication that remains in home medicine cabinets are susceptible to misuse and abuse. She pointed out that rates of prescription drug abuse and the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses involving prescription medication are alarmingly high. Phelps said that studies show that the majority of prescription drugs misused and abused are obtained from from home medicine cabinets.
While many people dispose expired and unused drugs by either flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, Phelps said these methods are not safe She said medicines disposed of in those ways can still pose potential safety and health hazards.
The Med Return Drug Collection Unit in the lobby of the public safety department can accept the following items:
• Prescription Patches
• Prescription Medications
• Prescription Ointments
• Over-the-counter medications
• Medications for pets
Items that may not be disposed of in the unit are:
• Hydrogen Peroxide
• Aerosol Cans
• Ointments, Lotions or Liquids
• Medication from businesses or clinics
• Needles (sharps)
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the September 26, 2015 Take Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs Day please contact Starlin D. Phelps, Prevention Coordinator — Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse at 864-429-1656 or [email protected] or the Union Public Safety Department.
This sign on the Med Return Drug Collection Unit at the Union Public Safety Department lists what can be disposed of in it and what cannot. The department is teaming with the Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse for a “Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs” on National Prescription Drug Takeback Day this Saturday. The event will provide the public with the opportunity to safely dispose of expired, unwanted and unused prescription medication.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or [email protected]