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Clean out those medicine cabinets

PRINCETON — Five area police departments are partnering with the Community Partners Against Substance Abuse (CPASA) to sponsor the seventh Take-Back event in three years for area residents to safely dispose of expired, unused and unwanted medications.

CPASA coordinator Dawn Conerton has announced the upcoming Take Back event is set for Saturday in the communities of Princeton, Buda, Wyanet, DePue and Granville.

Specifically, area residents can bring their unwanted, expired and unused prescription drugs for disposal to the Princeton Police Department, located at 605 Elm Place, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; to the Buda Police Department, located at 105 W. Main St., from 8 a.m. to noon; to the Wyanet Police Department, located at 101 S. Maple St., from 9 a.m. to noon; to the DePue Police Department, located at 111 W. 2nd St., from 9 a.m. to noon; or to the Granville Police Department, located at 316 S. McCoy St., from 9 a.m. to noon.

Saturday’s event is free, open to all area residents, and anonymous, with no questions asked, Conerton said.

Among the items which will be accepted are all prescription medications and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements, medicated ointments, creams and oils, homeopathic remedies, suppositories, and inhalers. Pet medications will also be accepted, Conerton said.

However, there are some items which will not be accepted, including needles/sharps, syringes with needles, thermometers, blood or infectious waste, personal care products, empty containers, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans, and IV bags, the CPASA coordinator said.

Looking at the importance of the Take-Back program, Conerton said the national program addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse, she said.

Studies show the rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs, Conerton said.

“Studies also show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet,” Conerton said.

In addition, people need to know that medications need to be disposed of properly, not by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash which both pose potential safety and health hazards, Conerton said.

As reported earlier in the Bureau County Republican, the last local Take Back event was held in April 2013, with more than 250 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter drugs collected in Princeton, Buda and Wyanet. April’s Take Back Day collection was added to the local, on-going Prescription Drug Disposal Program (P2D2) drop-box accumulations, which resulted in a total of 1,543 pounds of collected medications.

The P2D2 drop-off boxes are located at the Princeton Police Department, Bureau County Sheriff’s Department and Jail, Spring Valley Police Department, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Ladd Police Department and Walnut Police Department. Since beginning the P2D2 program in July 2010, the program has collected 4,343 pounds of drugs.

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