15 pounds of prescription drugs


Large amount of medication turned in Saturday

By Charles Warner - cwarner@civitasmedia.com



Charles Warner | The Union Daily Times This is what 15 pounds of prescription medication looks like. The Union Public Safety Department and the Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse sponsored “Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs” this past Saturday as part of the 10th Annual Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The event gave the people of Union County the opportunity to turn in any expired, unused and unwanted prescription medication in their homes. A total of 15 pounds of prescription medication was turned in at the public safety department during the four-hour event.


By Charles Warner

cwarner@civitasmedia.com

UNION — Fifteen pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription medication is now in the safekeeping of and slated for safe disposal by the Union Public Safety Department.

Saturday was the 10th Annual Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and the US Drug Enforcement Administration partnered with law enforcement agencies across the county to encourage the public to take part by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous prescription medication.

In Union County, Drug Take-Back Day took the form of the “Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs” event sponsored by the Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in partnership with the Union Public Safety Department. The event, which was held Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., gave residents of Union County the opportunity to bring their expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medication to the public safety office and drop them into the Med Return Drug Collection Unit in the lobby with no questions asked.

Starlin D. Phelps, Prevention Coordinator for the Union County Commission on Alcohol & Drugs, said the people of Union County took that opportunity and turned in a total of 15 pounds of prescription medication.

“Fifteen pounds is a great deal for our county,” Phelps said “Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, and it has been classified as an epidemic. Unfortunately, people of all ages are affected, as shown by several government studies. Being an informed consumer will help keep you and your family safe.”

To educate the public on the issue, Phelps offered the following questions about issues regarding prescription drug abuse and answers to those questions.

1. What can you do to prevent misuse and abuse?

Educate yourself, family, and friends. Learning the harsh realities about addiction and misuse is the best preventive measure you can take.

2. How are people obtaining illegal prescription drugs?

More than three in five teens say prescription pain relievers are easy to get from parent’s medicine cabinet.

3. What is the difference between misuse and abuse?

Prescription drug abuse is the use of a medication without a prescription, in a way other than as prescribed, or for the experience or feelings elicited, (ie, taking medication to “get high”) as defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The abuse of certain prescription drugs — opioids, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants — can lead to a variety of adverse health effects, including addiction.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explains that the difference between abuse and misuse has to do with the individual’s intentions or motivations. For example, when a person takes a prescription drug to get a pleasant or euphoric feeling (ie, to “get high”), especially at higher doses than prescribed, that is an example of drug abuse.

According to FDA, prescription drug misuse may involve not following medical instructions, but the person taking the drug is not looking to “get high.” For example, if a person isn’t able to fall asleep after taking a single sleeping pill, he or she may take another pill an hour later, thinking, “That will do the job.” Or a person may offer his headache medication to a friend who is in pain. According to FDA, those are examples of drug misuse because the person is trying to treat a condition or symptom, but not according to the directions of a health care provider.

FDA stresses that both misuse and abuse of prescription drugs can be harmful and even life threatening to the individual. This is because taking a drug other than the way it is prescribed can lead to dangerous outcomes that the person may not anticipate.

According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, prescription drug misuse can include:

• Taking the incorrect dose

• Taking a dose at the wrong time

• Forgetting to take a dose

• Stopping medicine too soon

While the Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs event is over, Union Public Safety Director Sam White said that the Med Return Drug Collection Unit remains in the department lobby for people to dispose of prescription medication and even illegal drugs with no questions asked. The collection unit has been in the department lobby for several years and White says that during that time outside of special events like this past Saturday’s there has been a steady “trickle” of prescription medication dropped off in it. He said the medication dropped off in the unit is collected by his department and held until the Union County Sheriff’s Office holds its next incineration of confiscated drugs. White said at that at time his department will turn over the drugs in its keeping to the sheriff’s office to be incinerated.

Incineration is the preferred method of disposing of both prescription and illegal drugs because drugs tossed in the trash or flushed down a toilet can still be a health and/or environmental hazard.

The Med Return Drug Collection Unit can accept the following items:

• Prescriptions

• Prescription Patches

• Prescription Medications

• Prescription Ointments

• Over-the-counter medications

• Vitamins

• Samples

• Medications for pets

Items that may not be disposed of in the unit are:

• Thermometers

• Hydrogen Peroxide

• Inhalers

• Aerosol Cans

• Ointments, Lotions or Liquids

• Medication from businesses or clinics

• Needles (sharps)

For more information on Prescription Drug Abuse/Misuse, please contact Starlin D. Phelps, Prevention Coordinator for the Union County Commission on Alcohol & Drugs, at 864-429-1656 or starlin@uccada.org.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

Charles Warner | The Union Daily Times This is what 15 pounds of prescription medication looks like. The Union Public Safety Department and the Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse sponsored “Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs” this past Saturday as part of the 10th Annual Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The event gave the people of Union County the opportunity to turn in any expired, unused and unwanted prescription medication in their homes. A total of 15 pounds of prescription medication was turned in at the public safety department during the four-hour event.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_IMG_00052.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Daily Times This is what 15 pounds of prescription medication looks like. The Union Public Safety Department and the Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse sponsored “Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs” this past Saturday as part of the 10th Annual Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The event gave the people of Union County the opportunity to turn in any expired, unused and unwanted prescription medication in their homes. A total of 15 pounds of prescription medication was turned in at the public safety department during the four-hour event.
Large amount of medication turned in Saturday

By Charles Warner

cwarner@civitasmedia.com

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

comments powered by Disqus