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Front Page » April 29, 2008 » Local News » East Carbon adopts Rx disposal plan
Published 2,715 days ago

East Carbon adopts Rx disposal plan

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Sun Advocate community editor

Disposing of Rx medications has become a strain on the environment.

As issues continue to arise concerning the safe disposal of unused pharmaceutical medication, East Carbon city has adopted the Safe Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal Project. The program was brought to the city's attention by former Carbon County Sheriff and current rotary club member Jim Robertson.

The program consists of a locked box that is placed in a public area. Any medication that has gone out of date or is no longer needed can then be disposed of in the box. The box will be monitored by East Carbon Police Chief Sam Leonard who will periodically gather the dumped medication and turn it over to the local pharmacy for safe disposal.

According to information provided by Robertson, the Salt Lake County Sheriff's office began the drug collection program after being solicited by Healthy Herriman; a community group sponsored by Intermountain Health Care. This group has done extensive research on the issues of water contamination due to pharmaceutical medications being flushed down the drains of area homes.

In addition to the benefits associated with the environment, city officials commented that, "this program could be used to educate the community about the dangers these medications pose to our youth."

According to project information, this program creates a positive contact between the community and the city police office. "It brings people into our substations where they are exposed to additional resources available to them."

Robertson reported that the local Rotary Club will pay for the box and its installation in the main lobby of East Carbon's city hall.

"All I need is approval from the city," said Robertson. "And then we can get to work."

In SLC the Herriman collection box, as it is called, receives approximately five pounds of discarded medications per week.

Responsible disposal of out of date medications can save all in the household from accidental ingestion.

The drug collection and disposal program provides a safe disposal location for citizens to properly dispose of unused prescription medications. This program provides an environmentally safe alternative to disposing of medications in the landfill or sewer systems which may later negatively effect the environment.

"The water that leaves your house through the drain or toilet goes to a waste water treatment plants, where it is treated and then discharged into streams, rivers or larger water ways," according to project information. "Waste water treatment plants do not test or treat for pharmaceuticals, therefore the drugs that are flushed leave the waste water plants untreated and go into our waterways.

"Water samples taken from rivers, streams and other waterways throughout the country are showing measurable levels of many types of drugs. These drugs are not good for aquatic life and need to be eliminated."

This program also encourages citizens to remove their unneeded medications from their homes. This reduces access to addictive medications for accidental or intentional misuse by children in the home. The project further encourages citizens to make their homes a, "drug free zone."

"Many professionals used to advise to keep your unused medications on hand for emergency preparedness," states program information. "This is a dangerous practice for two reasons. First, medication has a set use life. Second, pharmaceutical medications are subject to misuse. An increasing number of youth are experimenting with prescription pain medications in particular. Improper use can lead to serious addiction. Many youth do not view use of prescription medications as being wrong.

Addiction often leads to alternative means to obtain medication to meet their needs. This may lead to use of illegal drugs which are less expensive and sometimes more readily available."

According to Robertson, something important about the service is that no personal information needs be left in order to use the service.

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