10/09/12 — Outdated drugs to be collected

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Outdated drugs to be collected

By From staff reports
Published in News on October 9, 2012 1:46 PM

Operation Medicine Drop will be Saturday.

The event to collect unwanted and outdated prescription and over-the-counter medicines will be part of Kids Fest at Berkeley Mall.

Members of the Wayne County 4-H Prevention Program, the Sheriff's Office and Wayne Connections Substance Abuse Task Force will be on hand to collect the medicines.

Residents are being urged to clean out their cabinets and to take any outdated or unwanted medicines to Operation Medicine Drop. Those collected will be disposed of correctly and safely.

"Medications disposed of by flushing them down the toilet may contaminate the water system we get fresh water from," said Barbara Byers with the 4-H Prevention Program. "Abusing prescription medication has become the second drug of choice for teens, behind marijuana, so it's important to keep these items out of the wrong hands."

Ms. Byers noted that surveys from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that 20 percent of teens say they have taken a prescription drug without a prescription for it, and 4 percent reported abusing over-the-counter cough medicine to get high.

"Young people mistakenly believe that prescription medicines can be safer to use, and shopping in medicine cabinets makes these drugs free," Ms. Byers said.

She said one way to prevent medicine abuse is to plan a time to talk with teens about the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse.

"Teens listen even if you think they don't," she said. "And those who learn about the risks of drugs from parents are 50 percent less likely to use drugs."

Anyone who is unable to take their medications to Operation Medicine Drop can take them to the sheriff's department annex. For more information, call Brandy Jones at (919) 705-6584.