Law enforcement officers at locations across the state will be collecting unused medications for safe disposal on Sat., Oct. 24.
The collection events are part of a nationwide effort for safety in the disposal of leftover medications to prevent accidental or intentional misuse. Since the Drug Take-Back Day program began in 2010, more than 95 tons of unwanted medications have been collected and destroyed in Kansas alone.
“Unused medications are dangerous for kids, pets and the environment,” Schmidt said. “Diversion of opioid painkillers, in particular, can contribute to the misuse of these drugs that has become a serious nationwide problem. Getting leftover medicines out of the medicine cabinets and safely destroyed keeps them from falling into the wrong hands and makes our communities safer.”
The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration coordinates the National Drug Take-Back Day, to collect and safely destroy the medications. Drop-off sites across the state for medications are open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sat. To find a location, visit www.ag.ks.gov.
Medicines that deteriorate in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. The CDC estimates opioid overdoses kill nearly 130 Americans every day. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, pharmaceutical opioids are a leading cause of drug poisoning deaths in Kansas.
Studies show that abused prescription drugs obtained from family and friends, account for a majority of overdoses, including from the home medicine cabinets. In addition, Americans are now advised that traditional methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – pose potential safety and health hazards and should be avoided.
Unused prescriptions can be turned in year-round at many local law enforcement locations. Kansans should contact their local sheriff’s office or police department for more information.