Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

April 25, 2013

Safe disposal

Take-Back Day collects unwanted prescriptions

Anyone who has unwanted, unused  prescription drugs will have a good and safe method of disposal Saturday when the Drug Enforcement Administration holds another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications.

In the five previous Take-Back events, DEA in conjunction with state and local law enforcement partners, has collected more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medications.

Locally, the Maryland State Police will be participating in the program at its barrack in LaVale. The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, Cumberland Police Department and Frostburg Police Department have permanent collection boxes at their respective sites for residents to dispose of drugs Saturday or throughout the year.

In Somerset County, Pennsylvania State Police and other agencies will accept medications for disposal at the Somerset Senior Community Service Center, 1338 South Edgewood Avenue in Somerset.

Police say medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly suspectible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and drug overdoses.

At one time, it was thought that flushing drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash was acceptable. But safety and health hazards are caused by that practice. It is much better to dispose of the drugs in a safe fashion — with the assistance of police.

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