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Riverside County to observe Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 30
It is always a hassle to dispose of expired or unused prescription medicines. Some use the toilet to flush the unwanted medicines, leading to water pollution, while others may throw them away in the household trash. To address the problem at the national level, leading pharmacy chain Walgreens recently launched a program to ensure safe disposal of unused drugs.
Under the program, Walgreens will be installing disposal kiosks in more than 500 drugstores in 39 states as well as in Washington, D.C. Most of these centers will come up at locations that are open round-the-clock.
A similar initiative was taken at the local level by the Riverside County sheriff’s department in California. However, it will be a limited period program – a biannual exercise. The department will accept prescription and over-the-counter medications on the next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, scheduled for April 30 2016. The campaign thus helps prevent overdoses, addiction and other misuse of drugs.
Disposal of unused medicines
The previous methods of disposing of prescription drugs had raised pollution level and had adverse effects on septic systems, sewage treatment plants, fish and other aquatic wildlife. According to reports, drinking water was also found to contain traces of all kinds of drugs.
To reduce the environmental waste, some pharmacies and police stations accept unused medicines throughout the year. The police stations at the Palm Desert Sheriff’s station and Rancho Mirage City Hall, each have a drop box for medicines, though Rancho Mirage doesn’t accept controlled substance prescriptions. The Redlands Police Department accepts medicines at one location.
The Riverside County has taken a major step in combating the epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse. Many heroin addicts first start with prescription opiates before seeking a cheaper and more potent high. “Many people who abuse prescription drugs get them from home,” Riverside County Sheriff’s Lt. Jim Armstrong, who oversees the event for the department, told The Press Enterprise. “Removing expired or unused medications from the home can help reduce the misuse and abuse of prescription medications.”
Walgreens is the first large U.S. pharmacy chain to offer an environment-friendly alternative. It offers the service under a two-year-old U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration rule allowing only authorized pharmacists to take away unused or expired drugs.
Operating in other counties in California, the 24-hour drugstore will have kiosks to securely dispose of unwanted medicines. The chain has been approved to add year-round medication disposal kiosks at six Inland pharmacies in Jurupa Valley, Menifee, Fontana, Chino, Palm Desert and Cathedral City.
“We are expected to be installed at 500 stores in 39 states and Washington D.C. this year,” Walgreens spokesman Phil Caruso said. This has been by far a great initiative to combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.
Numerous researches have found that drugs rewire the mind and cause abusers not to think clearly. If you or a loved one in the family is struggling with opioid addiction, call at our 24/7 helpline number 951-221-4018. The dedicated members at the Riverside Drug Treatment Rehab Center are committed to assist you through the detox process until there is complete recovery.