2017-06-15 / Opinions

Guest VIEWpoint

Unused medication take back event slated for Pigeon
By Mandy Brondyke Wellness Coach, Scheurer Hospital

Medications play an important role in treating many conditions and diseases, however, when they are expired or no longer needed, it is important that you dispose of them properly. If medications are not disposed correctly, they can wind up in the wrong hands or polluting our environment.

What’s the best way to get rid of expired or left over medicines? If your first thought was to flush them down the toilet, think again. Flushing unused or expired medicines gets them out of sight and out of mind, but has negative effects on our environment. Water treatment plants are not designed to remove these chemicals and small amounts end up back in our drinking water. With our population and pharmaceutical use growing, more medications are being found in our environment.

Not only does flushing medications down the toilet have a negative effect on the environment, but holding on to these medications for too long can lead to improper use. Do you open up your medicine cabinet and see unused or expired medications? It’s important to dispose of these properly before they get in the hands of the wrong people. Unused prescriptions are a hazard to children or pets if left unsecured. Child emergency room visits for accidental drug poisonings are twice as common as poisonings for other household products. Pets could also get into unsecured cupboards and come across the same medications. Additionally, seven out of 10 people who abuse drugs get them from friends or family. More than seven million Americans abuse prescription drugs, taking unused medications from the homes of friends or family. Consumers and caregivers should get rid of these medications as quickly as possible to help reduce the chance of accidental or intentional misuse.

The United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. More than half a million people died from drug overdose from 2000 to 2015.

In addition, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Medication take back programs are a great way to reduce these numbers and get unused medications off the streets. With these staggering statistics in mind, Scheurer is on-board with local officials to make a change in Huron County.

On Friday, June 23, Scheurer, in collaboration with Huron County Sheriff’s Office, is hosting an Unused Medication Take Back location during ‘Spark in the Park,’ a community event dedicated to wellness. This free event will be hosted at the Pigeon Recreation Park from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Any medication (including controlled prescription medications) will be accepted. This your chance to help the community and the environment. Empty out your cabinets and stop by the drop off booth to dispose of your medications properly. As a bonus, every person who drops off unused medication will have a chance in a drawing for a $100 gas card!

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