September 2, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
70°F

Medicine disposal program nets almost a ton in six months

Medina County residents have turned in almost a ton of unused prescription drugs to the Medina County Drug Task Force since October.

The medications were handed over to Cleveland’s branch of the Drug Enforcement Administration for incineration on Monday following Saturday’s National Drug Take Back Day, a nationwide event to collect unused pharmaceuticals.

Agent J. Tadd Davis, pharmaceutical investigator with the county task force, said 120 pounds were collected Saturday and 1,825 pounds were collected since October at permanent drop-off points throughout the county.

Almost a ton of unused prescription drugs in 117 boxes await transport to the Cleveland branch of the Drug Enforcement Administration on Monday morning. The drugs were collected Saturday as part of a pharmaceuticals drop-off program in Medina County and a national drop-off event. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

Almost a ton of unused prescription drugs in 117 boxes await transport to the Cleveland branch of the Drug Enforcement Administration on Monday morning. The drugs were collected Saturday as part of a pharmaceuticals drop-off program in Medina County and a national drop-off event. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

“For being a rural community, that’s tremendous,” Davis said.

He said he hopes to collect even more at the next event in October.

National Drug Take Back Day is held twice a year throughout the country and encourages people to dispose of unused or expired medications properly, as opposed to flushing them down toilets, holding on to them, giving them away, selling them, abusing them or having them stolen.

Regionally, the Cleveland DEA’s office collected about 5½ tons of prescription drugs from 82 sites on Saturday.

“I can’t tell you how many people contribute,” Davis said. “I’m very pleased, especially with our elderly residents in the county.

“They’re really recognizing that this is a means to keep our homes a little safer.”

He said younger residents contribute, too, but on a smaller scale.

The program is important, Davis said, because it keeps prescription drugs off the street and stops them from contaminating water supplies if disposed improperly.

Davis said residents have responded positively, which he expects will make the program more successful in the future.

“What’s amazing,” he said, “is the number of people who are making contact with us at these drug collection days and all phone calls that I receive periodically.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.