OCT. 26 – What should be done with expired or unused prescription drugs?
It’s not wise to leave them lying around.
“You don’t want to become an accidental drug dealer,” said Capt. Terry Hosea of the Savannah Police Department.
The Savannah Police Department provides a prescription medicine drop-off box for the public. The drop-off box, which is similar to a mailbox but even sturdier, is in the lobby of the Savannah Police Department, 80 King St., open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As part of National Prescription Take Back Day, the department’s lobby will also be open for drug drop-offs on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hardin County Prescription Drop-off Day will also provide drug educational literature, provided by county Health Department staff and Hardin County Health Council members, as well as law enforcement officers.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “in 2010, two million people reported using prescription painkillers nonmedically for the first time within the last year – nearly 5,500 a day.”
Fifty-five percent said the drugs were obtained free from a friend or relative.
A drug safety program, “Count it! Lock it! Drop it!,” sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee Health Foundation, reminds patients to:
•Count pills once every two weeks to prevent theft and ensure medications are taken properly.
•Lock up medication and store them in a place others would not think to look.
•Drop off unused/expired medications for proper disposal at the Savannah Police Department.
A recent distribution of literature on the “Count it! Lock it! Drop it!” program, available at seven area pharmacies, is yielding an increase in unused drug deposits at the police department.
“The use of the prescription medicine drop-off box is making a huge difference in our city in reducing the theft of medicines in homes,” said Hosea.
Hosea explains, “Since it is not good for the environment to flush prescription drugs down the toilet, dropping them off at the police department is the best way to dispose of them.” He said the state of Tennessee picks up the drugs regularly and takes them to a location where they are incinerated.
For more information call the Savannah Police Department at 925-3200, or visit www.cityofsavannah.org or www.CountItLockItDropIt.org.