To help prevent the misuse of prescription drugs and address the safety and health hazards of pharmaceutical waste, Mercy Medical Center is partnering with the Stark County Sheriff Department, Canton City Police Department and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to serve as a collection site for a one-day Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Initiative on Saturday, April 26th.
Individuals may drop off unwanted or expired over-the-counter and pharmaceutical pills, liquids and creams–no questions asked–between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Mercy Medical Center (follow signs on campus to the location). Please remove all identification labels. All medicine bottles will be recycled, and all drugs will be properly incinerated. This program is anonymous, and no identification is needed.
Elaine Campbell, co-coordinator of Mercy Green Team, says participating in the national “Take-Back” Initiative complements the hospital’s in-house pharmaceutical waste recycling program. As part of its internal Green Initiative to “faithfully heal the Earth”, Mercy Medical Center participates in the Prescription Take Back Initiative to give back to the community it serves, and to reduce the misuse and improper disposal of over-the-counter and prescription drugs which have become a major health issue and environmental hazard. “Misuse and improper disposal of over-the-counter and prescription drugs have become a major health issue and environmental hazard,” Campbell says.
A 2008 national survey on drug use and health concluded there are currently 6.2 million non-medical users of psychotherapeutic drugs. Of the more than four billion prescriptions written yearly, 40 percent, or 200 million pounds of medication, go unused. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are increasing at alarming rates, according to the United States Department of Justice. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
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