Anyone interested in disposing of unused, unwanted and expired medication can do so Saturday at three locations in Medina County during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
“Prescription drug abuse is a real consideration in Ohio, our county and across the nation,” said Brian Nowak, executive director of the Medina County Drug Abuse Commission.
“This gives people the opportunity to dispose of their drugs safely,” Nowak said.
Drugs can be dropped off 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Walgreens, 805 N. Court St., Medina; Lodi Community Hospital, 225 Elyria St.; Wadsworth Police Department, 120 Maple St.
In Medina County, prescription drug abuse is more common than marijuana use among adults, according to according to a Living Well Medina County survey published in September.
The survey found 6 percent of adults misused prescription drugs in the past six months.
The survey also reported about 14 percent of county adults use prescription drug collection programs, compared to 23 percent who just throw away their unused drugs.
Officials said collection programs like Take-Back Day are important to spread awareness and to cut back on possible drug abuse. It’s also better for the environment, they said, since flushing medications down toilets — which about 11 percent of residents do, according to the Living Well survey — can pollute water systems.
This marks the sixth Take-Back Day, which is held twice a year across the country and is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
Since the first event in 2010, participants have disposed of more than 2 million pounds of prescription medications nationwide, according to an October DEA news release.
No participants will be questioned about their disposals, according to Wadsworth police, who ask that all prescription labels be removed.
To combat what officials call an “epidemic” of pharmaceutical abuse, the county’s Drug Abuse Commission and Drug Task Force arranged it so residents don’t have to wait until a Take-Back Day event to properly dispose of drugs.
The county has 12 permanent drop points at area police stations and Medina Hospital, where residents can Dispose of Unused Medication Properly, or DUMP, their prescription drugs.
Participants in the county’s DUMP program, which also began in 2010, have disposed of more than 3,000 pounds of medications.
Contact reporter Nick Glunt a (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.