The interim director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, Dale Woolery, says you should check your medicine cabinets and take in any medication you don’t need. He says some people flush the pills down the toilet, but he says that creates problems with the medication getting into the groundwater.
“By putting it in one of these secure receptacles and having it incinerated by authorities at another site — that’s a much better way to get rid of these meds,” Woolery says. He says properly disposing of the prescription drugs also ensures they won’t be stolen or illegally used by someone.
The 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows 53 percent of people 12 or older who misused a prescription pain reliever obtained the substance from a friend or family member. Woolery says people have responded to the call to properly dispose of the drugs.
He says in the last eight years during the two takes backs each year — Iowans have gotten rid of over 56 tons of unneeded medications. The first national day was held earlier this year and saw a lot of pills turned in.
“In April Iowans got rid of over 12,000 pounds, and that was a record-setting collection,” according to Woolery. Woolery says if you miss Saturday’s event or find yourself with excess medications throughout the year, there are now permanent take back sites available.
We have 233 of those now across the state of Iowa — at least one in each county — many counties with multiples sites. About are in local law enforcement centers, half are in pharmacies,” Woolery says. “The easiest way to find out where is the site closest to me is to go online and simple search IowaRXtakebacks.”
National Prescription Drug Take Back events will operate from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday at over 100 sites across Iowa.