National Take Back Prescription Day wants your old drugs

Oregon Sea Grant teams up with the Corvallis Police Department, Corvallis Public Works and the Benton County Heath Department on Sept. 26 to collect your unused, expired and otherwise unwanted pharmaceuticals, free of charge.

Dispose of old medicine on National Prescription Drug Takeback Day

The collection takes place from 10 am to 2 pm at Republic Services, 110 NE Walnut Blvd., Corvallis.

Unused prescription drugs should never be tossed in the trash or flushed down the toilet, experts say, because they can make their way into the waterways with potential harm to animals and plants. And keeping them around can result in accidental poisonings, overdose or theft.

According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, which sponsors the nationwide event, medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to theft, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

“Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat,” DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said.  “Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”

Research – including studies funded by Oregon Sea Grant – has found evidence that pharmaceuticals leaching into the waterways, possibly from improper disposal, are showing up in the tissues of fish and sea birds with as-yet unknown consequences.

While narcotic prescriptions, such as hydrocodone, oxydodone, and morphine, are the main focus of the nationwide take-back, you can drop off other prescription drugs as well. The only thing not accepted is syringes.

In the previous nine Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2014, 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons of drugs were collected, according to the DEA.

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