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Drug Take Back Day

In case you missed it, you’ll get a second change, but Saturday, October 26th, was ”Drug Take Back” in Kansas, and residents of Wichita were busy getting rid of potentially dangerous prescription drugs. Local TV station KAKE covered the event, with footage at one of the locations set up – at the Sedgwick County Zoo parking lot. Sheriff’s Deputies set up to accept the pills for destruction, and citizens weren’t asked to provide prescription or personal information – a “don’t ask, don’t tell” format.

Our participation is aligned with the national effort to get expired prescription drugs out of medicine cabinets, where, along with other drugs, they become an attractive nuisance. Teens and others who want to experiment can sometimes find a goldmine in grandma’s medicine cabinet or dresser drawer, where drugs have accumulated. Getting these pills properly disposed of is one of the points of the take back.

Prescription drugs shouldn’t simply be thrown in the trash, where they can be recovered, or if not, go to a landfill. Flushing them down the toilet isn’t a good idea either, as some medication are still active, even at low quantities. The chemicals can make their way into the environment and cause problems with sensitive wildlife. And there’s concern about legal handling for controlled substances – like pain pills that can be illegal to possess, except for the patient. The solution is to handle them in an approved manner – both when accepting controlled substances and regular medicines. The drugs are usually destroyed by incinerating them. That’s the point of having established collection points, you have the right people on the job.

If you know someone who needs to dispose of medications, you can call your local Sheriff’s Department, or ask the pharmacy where you shop. Either will be able to direct you to a collection point or let you know where you can drop medications off for destruction. The next national take back day isn’t until next year, but you don’t have to wait.

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