Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kansans turn in 2.5 tons of unused medications

Kansans turned in more than 2.5 tons of unused medications during the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day last month, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

Local law enforcement officials collected 5,334 pounds of drugs at 70 locations throughout the state on September 29.

The semi-annual event was sponsored nationwide by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which collects and safely destroys the medications.

This was the second-highest amount collected during a take-back day. More than 12 tons of medications have been collected in Kansas since the program began in 2010.

“This was another successful event,” Schmidt said. “Thanks to the work of our local law enforcement officials, these drugs are no longer lingering in medicine cabinets, risking accidents or intentional misuse.”

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition, Americans are now advised that traditional methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – pose potential safety and health hazards and should be avoided.

Unused prescriptions can be turned in year-round at many local law enforcement locations. Kansans should contact their local sheriff’s office or police department for more information.