March 19, 2013

Walgreens, the Sheriff’s Office to take back old medications

The Sheriff’s Office will be working with Walgreens Drug Store in Marathon to help get outdated or no longer needed prescription medication out of people’s medicine cabinets so they don’t wind up in the wrong hands, or aren’t disposed of improperly.

On April 6th, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., people can bring unused or outdated medications to the Walgreen’s Drug Store on 53rd Street in Marathon. There will be a Sheriff’s deputy on hand to take the medication, document it and make sure it is handled and disposed of properly and safely. Walgreens will also have a pharmacist on hand to help with any questions or concerns people might have. Those who bring in unused or outdated medications will receive special coupon discounts courtesy of Walgreens.

The Sheriff’s Office has had a county-wide program for several years to collect outdated or unused medication, both prescription and over the counter. Over that time period, the agency has collected tens of thousands of pills of various kinds, along with other forms of medication. The medication is incinerated safely in the Sheriff’s Office burn unit.

The goal is two-fold:
·         To remove the unused medication from people’s homes so it doesn’t wind up on the street being use improperly. Many people die every day in the United States due to the improper and/or illegal use of prescription drugs.
·         To keep such medications from being disposed of improperly, thus saving the environment from contamination. Medication should never be thrown in the trash, flushed down the toilet or washed down the sink because this just disperses the substances into the environment, causing harm to animals, both on land and at sea.

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