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Don’t Flush ‘Em: Unwanted Prescription Drugs “Take Back” Day Saturday, April 28

| April 23, 2012

dea drugs take back day prescriptions

Incinerator fodder. (psyberartist)

Flagler County residents looking to clean out the medicine cabinet have an opportunity to get rid of unwanted prescription drugs easily and without harming the environment.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is scheduling a “take back” day for Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents may discard their prescriptions at Publix Supermarket in Flagler Beach; the CVS at 5151 Belle Terre Parkway, or at the Flagler County Government Services Building on S.R. 100 in Bunnell.

“This is a great opportunity to get rid of those outdated and unwanted prescriptions. I am pleased to offer this to the community and I encourage residents to take advantage of it,” Fleming said in a statement released through his office.  “It’s free and no questions are asked.”

Useful as it is, take-back day is not quite a local initiative. It is prescribed by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, across the nation, at the same time. Saturday’s will be the fourth  such take-back day. The last was held on Oct. 29, when Americans turned in 377,080 pounds, or 188.5 tons, of prescription drugs at over 5,327 sites in 50 states.Three such take-backs over the past 13 months have removed have removed almost 1 million pounds, or 500 tons,  of medication from circulation.

The 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, the sheriff’s release states.

“According to the Environmental Protection Agency, researchers have found these substances, called “emerging contaminants,” almost everywhere they have looked for them,” The Times reported in 2007. “In many cases, the compounds enter the water when people excrete them or wash them away in the shower. But some are flushed or washed down the drain when people discard outdated or unused drugs. So a number of states and localities around the country have started discouraging pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes and residents from disposing of drugs this way. Some are setting up ‘pharmaceutical take-back locations’ in drugstores or even police stations. Others are adding pharmaceuticals to the list of hazardous household waste, like leftover paint or insecticides, periodically collected for safe disposal, often by incineration.”

The Centers for Disease Control, however, notes that while the pharmaceuticals may cause environmental harm, “there is no current evidence that these pharmaceuticals in the environment are responsible for any negative health effects in humans.

So the take-back  initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are susceptible to misuse or abuse. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

“This event makes a significant impact on reducing the potential abuse of prescription pills,”  Fleming said.

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2 Responses for “Don’t Flush ‘Em: Unwanted Prescription Drugs “Take Back” Day Saturday, April 28”

  1. NortonSmitty says:

    Ya know, without trying to win the CCCC award of the week (Crazy Conspiracy Clown Comment), I remember reading stories a few years ago about plans by The Government to put Psychotropic drugs (Xanax, Prozac, etc.) in the water supply to zone the people out in order for them to accept the screwing over they get every day or in the case of unrest or uprising.

    I didn’t put much stock in them until shortly afterwards I read everywhere that The Government published a study on this subject. It seemed to be extensively covered by everyone from Readers Digest to The New Republic, saying that like 85% of the water supplies in the US tested positive for these types of meds! So Folks, make sure you don’t flush those few grams of pills down the drain, because they are showing up polluting the Quintrillion Billions of tons of our water supply all over our great country.

    I remember thinking at the time that this didn’t really sound like a feasible possibilty, bit if you WERE going to put Happy Pills in the drinking water and it showed up in a test, it would be a great thing to be able to say “Oh, that’s old news! We reported on that years ago”, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it? Huh?

    Oh, there’s my tin-foil hat I’ve been looking for!

    Nevermind.

  2. Joe A. says:

    It is funny you mentioned “Don’t Flush them” in your heading. At the prescription drug abuse forum a few weeks ago, our Sheriff encouraged members in the audience to “flush” their unused prescription drugs. He was of course booed. Sadly, none of the local news sources picked up on this.

    I guess this is an opportunity to try and make good with the public.

    If I return my expired Sulfamethoxaole, will I get a free pass to the Hammock compliments of Sheriff Fleming via the tax payers?

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