About fifteen years ago, when my mother died, I was out in Indiana talking with my sister about things that would need to be done. There was an astounding amount of unused medication in the house. My sister didn’t want to put it in the trash for fear it would get into the wrong hands. She suggested flushing it down the toilet. The more I thought about that the more I imagined that 1) it would destroy the plumbing and 2) the medication would get into the local water system.
As I returned home shortly after the memorial service I don’t know what became of all that medication. I am guessing that my sister called the home hospice organization for advice.
I now know that local organizations plan periodic drug take-back events to help people clear out unneeded medications. Today happens to be National Prescription Drug Takeback Day.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019. The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
Wow. You do not want to keep this stuff around the house.
Today, from ten am to two pm, you can drop off your unwanted medications (including inhalers) right here in Columbia. HCDrugFree is hosting Howard County's drug take back day at the Wilde Lake Village Center. It will be a drive-thru collection in the Wilde Lake Village Center parking lot. Items accepted: prescription meds, over-the-counter meds, any pills, sharps (needles, syringes, EpiPens), & vapes without batteries.
Whether you want to eliminate the danger of having prescription medication sitting around your house, or you simply welcome the opportunity to declutter and make space in the medicine cabinet, this is the event for you. As always, wear a mask and be nice. These folks are volunteering their time to help us make our community safer.
I have quite a few dribs and drabs of old medications to gather together this morning. Maybe I’ll see you there.