New option in place for disposing of unused or expired medications
- Contact Stephanie Shepley
- Email email@example.com
Properly disposing of excess drugs is everyone's responsibility as a matter of public safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every adult in America around the clock for an entire month. Although most of the medications are prescribed for legitimate medical reasons, many end up in the wrong hands. More than 70 percent of young people abusing prescription pain relievers get them through friends or family, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.
Unsecured or improperly handled medications in the home also pose a risk to younger children and pets. More than 71,000 children under 19 are seen in emergency rooms annually due to accidental medication poisoning. These medications are often left in unsecured locations such as bathroom cabinets, under sinks and on countertops. Disposing of the unused medications improperly, in the trash or by flushing them, can also pose a poisoning risk to pets and is potentially hazardous to the environment.
The Dare County Department of Health & Human Services has partnered with the Nags Head Police Department to establish a permanent drug collection box in order to reduce the supply of drugs that can potentially harm children, pets, teens and adults. This effort was made possible through funding from Healthy Communities.
"Disposal of prescription drugs has been a priority in Dare County for many years. Our community has made efforts to establish mechanisms for disposal, and raise awareness of the importance of safe disposal," commented Health Director, Dr. Sheila Davies. "Many local groups have been part of this process through championing and promoting the importance of safe disposal. Groups such as, our Peer Power students, local law enforcement, Dare CASA, New Horizons and the Substance Abuse Prevention & Education Task Force have been essential partners in this process. We are thrilled to have more options than ever available to the residents of Dare County."
The new collection unit, located in the lobby of the Nags Head Police Department, joins a host of drug disposal options already available in Dare County. Residents can utilize permanent drug take back boxes in either the Nags Head or Kitty Hawk Police Departments to dispose of medications quickly and conveniently. If these locations are inconvenient, Dare County residents can also stop by any police department location to surrender medications to an officer or they can call to schedule a pick up. The Dare County Sheriff's office in partnership with the Outer Banks Hospital and Dare County Department of Health & Human Services also hosts drug take back events quarterly at different locations throughout the county. Information about all of these options can be found at www.Darenc.com/rx.
For more information on prescription drug drop offs or the healthy communities program, please contact Stephanie Shepley at 252.475.5081 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured: Sheila Davies, Public Health Director at DCDHHS; Kevin Brinkley, Chief of Police, Nags Head Police Department; Wally Overman, Vice Chairman for Dare County Board of Commissioners and Chair of the Substance Abuse Prevention & Education Task Force