FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky State Police are teaming up with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to encourage Kentuckians to remove potentially dangerous medicines from their homes and dispose of them safely as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 29, 2017.
“Prescription medications play an important role in the health of millions of Americans,” says KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders. “However, leftover or expired drugs can be harmful in a variety of ways.”
Old or out-of-date medications can degrade and lose their effectiveness notes Sanders. They can also pose environmental pollution to water supplies if disposed of improperly.
“Unused medicines in homes can also be accidentally ingested by children, stolen, misused and abused,” he warns.
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming levels. According to the DEA, the majority of prescription drug abusers report that they get their drugs from friends and family including the home medicine cabinet.
“Cleaning out old prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers and beside tables can help reduce the diversion, misuse and abuse of these substances, including opioid painkillers,” says Sanders.
“Check your medications for expiration dates regularly and dispose of them properly,” he advises. “When in doubt, throw it out.”
During last year’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, citizens across the U.S. disposed of 447 tons of unneeded medications. Statewide, Kentucky had 50 collection sites totaling 9,752 pounds in 2016. KSP collected 946 pounds at 16 post area locations.
KSP has established 16 locations throughout Kentucky to serve as collection points for the safe, convenient and responsible disposal of unused or expired prescription drugs. Locations are listed at http://kentuckystatepolice.org/2017/pdf/2017_POST_TAKE_BACK_LOCATIONS.pdf. Collection will take place from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2017.
KSP spokesperson Tpr. Josh Brashears advised that the program is designed to be easy for citizens and offered the following tips for those interested in participating:
- Participants may dispose of medication in its original container or by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into the disposal box located at the drop off location.
- All solid dosage pharmaceutical products and liquids in consumer containers will be accepted. Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain sealed in original containers. The depositor should ensure that the cap is tightly sealed to prevent leakage.
- Intravenous solutions, injectables and syringes will not be accepted due to potential hazard posed by blood-borne pathogens.
- Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection containers.
For more information about the ‘Take Back’ program, contact KSP at 502-782-1780 or visit the DEA website at https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.