prescription drugs

For many people, fall is a time to unbox holiday decorations and tidy up their homes.

One place which is often forgotten about while cleaning, is the medicine cabinet. Prescriptions from one, two, three, or more years ago lie forgotten behind more recently-filled medications.

So, when one finally decides to empty out their medicine cabinet, they may be at a loss for what to do with their old prescriptions. Some may choose to toss their old medicines into the toilet and flush them while others may decide to keep them in the cabinet for lack of a better option. National Prescription Take-Back Day gives families a safer option for how to discard of their old medications.

Richmond’s Police Department is hosting their National Prescription Take-Back Day on Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in hopes to give families a safer option.

“We don’t want them storing the medicine at the house or flushing it or throwing it in the trash, when we can properly dispose of it,” Assistant Chief of Police Rodney Richardson explained. Richardson said the DEA will gather the medicine collected and destroy it properly according to manufacturing suggestions.

Richardson explained flushing used medicine is not a proper method of disposal, because there is the possibility for the medicine to somehow get into the water system. He said simply continuing to keep the medicine or throwing it away is also improper because it could get into the hands of someone who should not have it.

“If old medication is left at the house there is the potential for a small child to take something that they shouldn’t,” Richardson said.

He added leaving unused medication in the cabinet could also lead to an adult or adolescent finding the medicine and abusing it.

“You know how quickly someone can become addicted to something,” Richardson said.

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health results, 16.3 million people who were 12-and-older misused psychotherapeutic drugs such as prescription stimulants, tranquilizers, sedatives, and pain relievers.

“It’s out there and it doesn’t need to be,” Richardson said.

If the event on Oct. 24 does not fit into someone’s schedule, but they still need to rid themselves of unused medication, Richardson said the Richmond Police Department has a solution.

“We have a drop off box at the police department… right on the front porch… that people can use any time,” Richardson said. He explained people frequently use the drop off box at the station.

“This day (Take-Back Day) is a national day, but the police department has this program dedicated to the public that they can use any day. All they have to do is come up and drop it off. That’s how serious we feel about it. It’s not just a one day effort out of the year — it’s 365, all-year-round,” Richardson said.

People can drop off their old medications at the Richmond Police Department, located at 1721 Lexington Road.

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