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Drop Off Unwanted Prescriptions on September 27 | Environment

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Drop Off Unwanted Prescriptions on September 27
Environment, Health
Drop Off Unwanted Prescriptions on September 27

Catholic Health is joining forces with the Drug Enforcement Administration and more than 20 other sites in the Western New York area for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. On Saturday, September 27 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. area residents may bring their expired, unused, or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications to the following Catholic Health drop off sites: Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Mercy Ambulatory Care Center, and Sisters of Charity Hospital: St. Joseph Campus. Or visit http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/ for other locations throughout Western New York. “We want to prevent unused portions of prescription medications from ending up in garbage dumps, polluting the water, or ending up in the hands of our children,” said Frank Heinrich, a pharmacist at Kenmore Mercy Hospital. “We also want to teach people how to properly dispose of their unused medications.” A range of health concerns can arise from keeping outdated or unused prescription drugs in the medicine cabinet or disposing of them improperly, such as flushing them down the toilet. This includes street-level profiteering, abuse, unintentional overdoses and ecological contamination. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Society conducted a study of over 130 of our nation’s rivers, streams, and other waterways, and found traces of pharmaceuticals in over 80 percent of them. “Take-back programs like this are the safest way to dispose of medications,” added Heinrich. “However, when that is not available, take precautionary measures before throwing it in the trash.” FDA and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy recommend removing them from their original containers and mixing them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. This makes the drug less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through the trash seeking drugs. Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the drug from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.

Environment, Health

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