The week of Sept. 23-29, The Partnership at Drugfree.org launched the Medicine Abuse Project, a multi-year effort to raise public awareness about and curb prescription drug abuse. Most of us will take a prescription medication at some point in our lives. Its important to remember that medicine a doctor prescribes you is only intended for your use.
Here are some tips for safely storing medication:
• Keep all medications and vitamins in a safe location, away from small children, who might mistake it for candy, and out of sight of others, who might want to abuse it.
• Keep medicines in a container or box that can be locked. Make sure to put the key in a separate, secure place.
• Always remember to put your medicines back in their storage container after each use. Make sure all medicine bottle caps are secure.
• Sometimes you have leftover medication. One of the safest ways to properly dispose of medication is through take-back programs, which give individuals an opportunity to bring their unused medication to a central location for proper disposal. Here in Henry County Sheriff Danny Cravens runs a Drug Take Back Box program. You can simply put any medications you want to get rid of in a bag and drop by the Sheriff’s office (now located in the old Health Department Building in New Castle). Cravens reported that just this week they were able to turn more than 35 pounds of medications to the DEA. Normal hours at the Sheriff’s office are Mondays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Tuesday through Fridays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. But right now due to the tax season they also have extended hours. Cravens also wanted everyone to know that if for some reason you do not have transportation to get to the Sheriff’s office you can gather your old medications up and call them and they will send a Deputy out to pick them up.
In addition here are some guidelines to ensure safe disposal at your home:
• Remove prescriptions from their original container.
• Mix drugs with a substance that would be undesirable to people and animals. Good examples would be cat litter or coffee grounds. If the medication is a liquid, dilute it with water. If the medication is in pill form, crush and dilute it with water.
• Put the mixture into a disposable container or plastic bag, seal and place in the trash.
• Remove or cover all personal information on the prescription bottle before recycling or throwing it away.
For more information about the Medicine Abuse Project is available at www.drugfree.org.
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