SMITH CENTER, Kan. – Smith County Drug and Alcohol Council partnered with Smith County Memorial Hospital and the Smith County Sheriff’s Department to promote National Drug Take Back Day earlier in April.
Both the clinic and the sheriff’s office have collection receptacles for disposing of prescription drugs. Prescription drugs accepted at the sites include unused or expired Vicodin, Dilaudid, Demerol, Oxycotin, Fentanyl, Ritalin, Tylenol with codeine, Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Tramadol, Ambien or Lyrica. Over the counter pills and pet medications are also accepted. Sites cannot accept illegal drugs, liquids, needles or sharps.
“This is a free, anonymous service—no questions asked,” said clinic manager, Amanda Mocaby. “The receptacle is available in the lobby anytime the clinic is open for drug collection.”
The receptacle at the sheriff’s office is located in the dispatch lobby and is available for use 24 hours a day any day of the year. Like the clinic site, prescription drugs can be disposed of at the sheriff’s office for free and with no explanation required.
National Drug Take Back Day was held on April 27. The initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Last fall Americans turned in nearly 460 tons of prescriptions drugs at more than 5,800 sites.
“We’re partnering with the Drug and Alcohol Council because we want the community to feel comfortable disposing of their unused prescription drugs anytime,” Mocaby said. “Don’t feel like you have to wait for a special day or time to clean out your medicine cabinet.”
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or the Take Back Day event, visit www.DEATakeBack.com.