National Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 22 in Red Oak

Tess Nelson
The Red Oak Express

A National Prescription Drug Take Back Day  will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at the Red Oak Hy-Vee parking lot.
Red Oak Police Chief Justin Rhamy said the annual event is a collaborative effort between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies focused on removing potentially dangerous controlled substances from medicine cabinets.
“The national take back day will provide a unified opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications to law enforcement offers for destruction,” Rhamy explained.
Rhamy said any solid dosage pharmaceutical products in consumer containers will be accepted. The medicine whould be disposed of in its original container or by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly in the disposal box. Those dropping off presceiptions are not required to remove the prescription label, as patient privacy rules are not being violated.
Small, pint sized bottles of cough syrup, sealed in the original container, will also be accepted. However, illicit substances such as marijuana or heroin will not be accepted, nor will needles or inhalers.
According to MCMH pharmacist, Sherstin Willyerd, medication should be disposed of when the expiration date has passed. She added for over the counter medications, the expiration date will be located on the bottle as a stamped date, usually near the barcode.
For prescription medication in amber vials, Willyerd explained the medication expires 1 year from the date it was filled (unless otherwise specified).
Eye drops, insulin and other special drug forms will have shorter expirations listed on the packaging. If in doubt, ask a pharmacist, Willyerd said.
There are drug drops in multiple locations locally that are available year round, said Willyerd. In Red Oak, they include the Hy-Vee Pharmacy, Medicap Pharmacy, Red Oak Police Department, and the Red Oak Pharmacy.
When it comes to storing medication properly at home, Willyerd recommended it be stored according to the directions on the packaging. She said most medication would do well in a cool, dry, dark environment, such as a kitchen cabinet.
Willyerd said it’s a good idea to add a child proof lock to the medicine cabinet to keep out children. For controlled medications, she said to consider locking the medicine in a safe or lock box in order to keep it out of the hands of those who it’s not prescribed for.
“One of the major sources of prescription medications sold illegally is from our own homes.
Visitors to your home, even family, should not be able to access your controlled medications. If you no longer need these medications, dispose of them,” said Willyerd..
She added that if a drop site is not readily available, the next best option is to grind up or damage the medications and mix them with kitty litter or coffee grounds, which will mask the drug and absorb some of the medication.
“The idea is to help avoid diversion of the medication and to help safely dispose of the medication in a landfill,” she said.

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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