You know you have them – those bottles of pills, or prescription medications that have expired or gone unused for years. They’re in the back of your bathroom drawer, or on the top shelf of a medicine cabinet. And you’re not alone. Did you know the average American household has four pounds of prescribed and over-the-counter medicines?
Here’s the concern: those prescriptions can be items that we don’t want to fall into kids’ hands, either by accident, or because someone’s looking for a way to get high. Teens say prescription medicines are easier to get than beer, because they can access them from their friends’ and families’ medicine cabinets.
To address this concern, the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office has established an official safe disposal site for unused or expired household medications in their main lobby in the basement of the Courthouse at 310 Ash Street in Wray.
The new secure drop box is part of an ongoing drug take-back effort by the Sheriff’s Office. The drop box was obtained through the Colorado Household Medication Take-Back Program, administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. With no cost to the Sheriff’s Office, the new program is sponsored by the State of Colorado and allows for medication collection any time of the year 24-hours a day.
The drop box provides the best option for families to safely dispose of potentially harmful medications. Most pills, prescriptions or vitamins will be accepted. A few items that cannot be accepted include syringes, needles, marijuana products, mercury, oxygen containers, chemotherapy/radioactive substances or pressurized canisters. Only household medications from the community are permitted. healthcare facility waste is not allowed.
“I am pleased to work with the state to provide another safe and permanent location for the disposal of unused or unwanted prescription medications that could otherwise pose a potential danger to children and our community,” says Sheriff Chad Day. “The Sheriff’s Office is committed to utilizing various local media outlets and its own social media resources to remind the community to continue to take advantage of this resource.”
Before dropping off medications, citizens are advised to mark out any personal information on prescription bottles or containers. Absolutely no records are kept of who drops off the unused prescriptions or what types of medications were dropped off. Residents can stop by any time, 24-hours a day to use the drop box and dispose of unwanted or unused medications.