Wicomico County to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
(Salisbury, MD) On Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m, Wicomico County will participate in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Safe disposal of unwanted or expired medication is critical to our community. According to the DEA’s website, a 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health cited that 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
For this reason, the Health Department is encouraging the community, friends and family to take advantage of this event, gather any unused or unwanted prescription drugs and visit their nearest drop off site. Individuals from across the nation can find location sites nearest them by visiting: https://takebackday.dea.gov/.
Wicomico County recognized the need for access to drop off boxes all year long, not just once or twice a year. In 2012, local public health and safety officials, came together to launch an initiative that placed multiple Rx Drop boxes throughout the county. “We realized there was a need for stationary sites so that people could dispose of their unused and expired medications anonymously all year long.
Due to the hard work and diligence of many, the county was able to launch the Prescription Medication Disposal program on August 30, 2012,” says Lori Brewster, Health Officer for Wicomico County. “The county began with 4 boxes in 2013; added 2 more in 2015 and an additional 3 were added in December of 2016. This would not have occurred without the commitment of the Enforcement Agencies, Drug Free Wicomico, the Wicomico County Drug Abuse Task Force, Culver Enterprises, and the Wicomico County Health Department who are committed to reducing prescription drug abuse and increasing the safety of our citizens in Wicomico County. From July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2018, we have been able to get 5,654 pounds of prescription drugs off our streets due to this collaborative effort!”
Wicomico County has nine prescription medication disposal sites for the community to safely and anonymously dispose of their expired and unused prescription medications throughout the entire year.
The sites and times are as follows:
- Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office: (24 hours)
- Delmar Police Department: (M-F 7:30am-8:00pm)
- Fruitland Police Department: (M-F 8:00am-4:00pm)
- Salisbury Police Department: (24 hours)
- Maryland State Police Barracks: (24 hours)
- Apple Discount Drug: (M-F 8:00am – 8:00pm, Sat 9:00am-7:00pm)
- Peninsula Regional Medical Center: (Emergency Department Entrance-24 hours)
- Mt. Hermon Discount Pharmacy: (M-F 8:00 am – 7:00pm, Sat 9:00am-5:00pm)
- Pemberton Pharmacy: (M-F 8:30 am – 7:00 pm, Sat. 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sun 11:00 am – 4 pm)
If you have prescriptions that you are no longer using, or that are expired, please consider taking them to one of the above mentioned locations. Personal information should be removed from the original container prior to dropping it off at one of the sites. Prescriptions drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and pet medications are accepted. No liquids, needles, thermometers or bio-hazard materials are allowed.
The use and abuse of prescription medications is a concern among communities across the United States. It is important for adults to lock up their prescription medications so others do not have access to them. For that reason, we need to change our thinking about prescription drugs by monitoring, securing, and disposing of them properly. Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Start by noting how many pills are in each prescription bottle and keep track of refills;
- If your teen is prescribed a medicine, be sure to control it and monitor the dosages and refills;
- Make sure others, like grandparents, are aware of the risks. Encourage them to monitor their own medications;
- Take prescription medications out of the medicine cabinet and put them in a locked cabinet and/or prescription lock box;
- Advise others of securing their medications as well.
- Take an inventory of all of the medicines in your home;
- Discard expired or unused Rx and over-the-counter medicines when your teen is not at home;
- To ensure that no one goes through the trash, make sure the medicine is disposed of in undesirable substances, like kitty litter, coffee grounds, etc;
- Do not flush the medicine down the drain or toilet;
- Before throwing away prescription bottles, make sure to remove identifiable information from the prescription bottle to prevent unauthorized refills.
For more information or to get involved in the effort to reduce prescription drug use/abuse in Wicomico County, please contact the Wicomico County Health Department at (410) 219-7544.