Garrett County Take Back Boxes Net 92 Pounds of Medications
The Garrett County Health Department, partnering with the Oakland Town Hall, Garrett County Sheriff’s Office, and Maryland State police, participated in the National Drug Take Back Day in late October. A total of 92 pounds of medications were collected at the three locations since the April take-back event.
Garrett County residents joined many other Americans in doing their part to remove potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs from homes across the nation. A record-setting 912,305 pounds—456 tons—of medication was collected for disposal at more than 5,300 collection sites.
“In Garrett County, we are fortunate to have three permanent drop boxes available for disposal of pills,” said Sadie Liller, Prevention Coordinator at the Garrett County Health Department. “These locations are Oakland Town Hall (8:30-4:30), Garrett County Sheriff’s Office (24/7), and McHenry State Police Barrack (24/7). The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.”
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
“The drop box locations can only take pills or patches,” said Liller, “but it’s easy to dispose of liquids, needles, or sharps correctly in household garbage by following a few simple steps. Inhalers and nose sprays can be placed directly in household trash. Needles, including EpiPens, should be placed in a heavy plastic container with a lid, and labeled ‘sharps’. Liquids, and even pills, can be mix it in wet kitty litter or coffee grounds, and sealed into in a plastic bag or bowl.”
For additional information about disposal of medication in household garbage, call Kim Madigan, Garrett County Landfill, at 301-387-0322. The next National Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for April 28, 2018.