Jul 18, 2014 1:18 PM by Faye DeHoff
TUCSON - To help combat the misuse of prescription drugs, among other issues, the Sheriff's Department periodically provides opportunities for the proper disposal of unused and/or expired prescription drugs through its Dispose-A-Med program.
In 2013, the Pima County Sheriff's Department collected a total of 2,550 pounds of unused or expired prescription drugs. Proper disposal of medications is essential for many reasons:
1. Teenagers now abuse prescription drugs more than any other illegal drug except for marijuana. The majority of teens who abuse these drugs get them for free, usually from friends and relatives and often without their knowledge by raiding the medicine cabinet. Storing unused or outdated prescriptions creates an opportunity for illicit use. One in five teens report intentionally misusing someone else's prescription drugs to get high.
2. Outdated or unusable drugs that are disposed of by flushing or pouring down a sink enter the environment because wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove them. Studies have shown that pharmaceuticals and over the counter drugs are present in our nation's water bodies and certain drugs may cause ecological harm.
The next Dispose-A-Med event will be held tomorrow, July 19, at 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Target at 4040 N. Oracle Road.
• Prescription and over-the-counter tablets and capsules will be collected.
• Please put your pills into a plastic bag before bringing them to the Dispose-A-Med.
• No personal information is allowed on the containers.
• Metal or glass inhalers, syringes, epi-pens, patches, creams, liquids, and diabetic test strips will not be accepted.
• For safety and confidentiality reasons, any items turned over for collection cannot be returned. We cannot accept drugs from commercial organizations.
The service is free and anonymous, and no questions will be asked.