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Drug disposal event will take place April 28
STARKVILLE -- The safest method for disposing of unused household medications is to turn them in at official collection event, such as the fourth annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 28.
One of these events will take place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in front of the Starkville Piggly Wiggly at 118 Highway 12. The Mississippi State University Extension Service, MSU Police Department and Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department are working together to facilitate the event.
To find other sites in Mississippi or other states, click on the collection site locator link at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.
The event is part of a U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration initiative to give the public a safe and easy way to dispose of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications. Participants can dispose of medications without question or identification at this event, and no inventory of discarded substances will be made.
Participants may remove pills from their original containers for direct disposal into the collection box or remove identifying labels and dispose of medications in their original containers. Liquid medications, such as cough syrups, creams and ointments, will also be collected. Liquid products should be tightly sealed in the original container. Site organizers will not accept intravenous solutions, injectables, syringes or illicit substances.
Amy Schmidt, water quality specialist with MSU’s Extension Service, said expired or unwanted medications in homes are a risk to public health and safety, and improper disposal of these substances can harm water quality.
“According to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 7 million Americans abuse prescription drugs,” she said.
About 2,500 teens each day use prescription drugs to get high for the first time, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America.
“Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends or are taken from home medicine cabinets,” she said.
Water quality also is at risk when these medications are poured down drains or flushed in toilets.
“Waste water treatment systems typically aren’t designed to remove these substances from water during treatment, so they can ultimately end up in ground and surface waters when the treated water is discharged,” Schmidt said.
MSU Extension has an online publication addressing safe disposal of medicines and personal care products: IS1844 "Safe Disposal of Medicines and Personal Care Products". For more information, contact Schmidt at (662) 325-8279 or firstname.lastname@example.org.