Coalition installs drug disposal boxes in local police stations
Are you an “accidental drug dealer?”
If you are keeping unused or expired prescription medicines in your homes or medicine cabinets, you just might be an accidental drug dealer
The Estill County Substance Abuse Coalition, with help from grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Estill-Powell Agency for Substance Abuse Policy, are giving you a way to discard your old medicines without endangering young lives or contaminating the local water supply.
It is the Estill County Prescription Drug Disposal Program. Secure boxes have been placed in the lobby of the Irvine City Hall/Police Department and at Ravenna Police Department, in which unused and outdated prescription medicines can be placed. The evidence officer at each department takes charge of the medicines that are put in the boxes and take them to Frankfort for disposal as often as necessary.
Don’t keep them in your house.
Sharon Hensley, coordinator for the coalition, said that 70 percent of people who are 12 years or older who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from friends or family members.
If you leave your unused or expired medicine in an unsecured or unmonitored location around your home, they could easily find their way into the hands of somebody who either abuses prescription drugs or sells them to others.
“The fact is using prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription is harmful and illegal,” Hensley said.
Hensley explained that she learned from a recent survey asking people how they disposed of unwanted medicine that most people “flush them down the toilet,” which contaminates the water supply.
“The Estill Substance Abuse Coalition was formed in 2007 as the Estill County Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Coalition. The members of this group have been working in our community for the past five years to decrease the illegal use of prescription drugs,” Hensley said. “As a result of hard work and prevention education the rate of self-reported use of prescription drugs for Estill County 12th grade students has dropped from 17 percent in 2004 to seven percent in 2010.”
She said that is still way too high and that no family in our community has been left untouched by this epidemic of drug abuse.
“Youth, teenagers, young adults and yes, even some older adults have been lost to a lifestyle of drugs or have died,” she said.
The drop boxes are now available during regular business hours. Needles will not be accepted.
To dispose of unused or outdated medications:
•Remove any personal information from the prescription bottle before disposal.
•Secure prescription drug bottles before drop off, especially for liquid medications.
•If you are unable to drop off unused prescription drugs at our local police departments, mix the medication with an undesirable substance like coffee grounds or kitty litter, put the mixture in an empty can or bag and dispose.
•Do not flush medications into the sewer or septic system.
“Please do your part to help prevent drug abuse. Dispose of your unused and outdated medications safely and securely. The future of our community depends on it,” Hensley said.