Palm Coast and Flagler County residents can discreetly and effectively discard unused and expired medications during the 2016 National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at five locations across the county. See below. Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies and will staff locations as part of the biannual event organized by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
“This is a safe, easy way to dispose of medications and help keep them away from young children,’’ Sheriff Jim Manfre said.
Residents can stop by any of the sites, empty the medication from its container into the collection box, and then drive away. No personal information is required. None should be provided. After the event, all medications are turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration and properly disposed of so as not to contaminate local landfills or the water supply: it is not a good thing to flush your drugs down the toilet. It poisons water sources.
Drop sites will accept any expired or unwanted prescription, over-the-counter medication, vitamin or herbal remedies as well as veterinary medications. However, hypodermic needles and syringes won’t be accepted. Pot stashes and other illegal drugs are, alas, not part of the take-back, though carrying them may land you in trouble.
National Prescription Drug Take-Back sites will be at the following locations:
Palm Coast Precinct-City Market Place, 160 Cypress Point Parkway, Suite C-107, Palm Coast.
Publix Super Market at Palm Coast Town Center located at 800 Belle Terre Parkway, Palm Coast.
Publix Super Market at Belle Terre Crossings located at 4950 Belle Terre Parkway, Palm Coast.
Publix Super Market at Island Walk at Palm Coast located at 250 Palm Coast Parkway N.E., Palm Coast.
Front lobby of the Flagler Beach Police Department, 204 South Flagler Avenue, one block south of State Road 100 on the east side of the Moody-SR100 Bridge.
Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse, abuse and theft. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Hospitalization and death due to prescription drugs far outnumber overdoses and death from illegal drugs, including cocaine and heroin. Every day, 44 Americans die from a prescription-drug overdose. (In comparison, no one has ever died as a result of an overdose from smoking pot, and pot’s side effects, such as they are, have none of the devastating effects of prescription drugs. Nor is pot nearly as addictive.)
The reason is due in large part to an epidemic of overprescription: “Since 1999,” the Centers for Disease Control state, “the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled, yet there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report. Overprescribing leads to more abuse and more overdose deaths.”
Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.
[This story was adapted and updated from a version initially published last year.]