That’s just one reason why National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is so important. Another one? Accidental exposure to medicine in the home is a major source of unintentional pediatric poisonings in the United States. Each year in the U.S, approximately 60,000 emergency department visits and 450,000 calls to poison centers are made after children under 6 years of age find and take medication.
You might be tempted to just throw medications out at home. You can, but it’s a chore. You would have to take your medications (do not crush them) and mix them in a sealable bag or container with an unpalatable substance, i.e., something that’s not edible and tasty, such as dirt, cat litter or coffee grounds. Then you can throw the bag out. Make sure to mark your personal info off the prescription bottle before you toss it too.
Or you can just participate in National Prescription Take-Back Day, the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) designated time to educate people about this process and give them the opportunity to just drop off their unused medications.
This year, the event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28. Monongalia County has at least five convenient designated locations that are participating. They include all three Kroger stores: 350 Patteson Drive, 1851 Earl L. Core Road and 500 Suncrest Town Center Drive; Pierpont Landing Pharmacy, 7000 Mid-Atlantic Drive; and the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department, 116 Walnut St.
This gives you a couple of days to add another spring cleaning task to your to-do list: go through cabinets and drawers looking for medications that have expired and/or that you are no longer taking.
You might be enticed to flush prescription drugs down the toilet as an easy way to get rid of them, but that is not environmentally sound. The U.S. Food & Drug Agency (FDA) does offer a small list of medications that can be flushed down the toilet, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises against it, noting that the medications can end up in our drinking water sources.
The Morgantown Police Department disposal container is a big red metal box in the office lobby that is accessible 24/7. It was installed about a year ago with the help of a grant from CVS after officials there got the idea from Star City. The Star City container is accessible from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday when City Hall is open.
While it’s great to have that resource year-round, late April is a great time to do some spring cleaning around the house. And if you have to run to the grocery store, you can multi-task and drop off your unused prescription drugs. So, mark National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on your calendar.