TOPEKA – (October 22, 2018) – Law enforcement officers at locations across the state will be collecting unused medications for safe disposal on Saturday, October 28, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.
The collection events are part of a nationwide effort to safely dispose of leftover medications to prevent accidental or intentional misuse. Since the Drug Take-Back Day program began in 2010, nearly 75 tons of unwanted medications have been collected and destroyed in Kansas alone.
“Unused medications are dangerous for kids, pets and the environment,” Schmidt said. “Diversion of opioid painkillers, in particular, can contribute to the misuse of these drugs that has become a serious nationwide problem. Getting leftover medicines out of the medicine cabinets and safely destroyed keeps them from falling into the wrong hands and makes our communities safer.”
Medications will be accepted at drop-off sites across the state from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. To find a location, visit www.ag.ks.gov.
The National Drug Take-Back Day is coordinated by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which collects and safely destroys the medications.
Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates opioid overdoses kill 115 Americans every day. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, pharmaceutical opioids are a leading cause of drug poisoning deaths in Kansas. The CDC says the number of opioid prescriptions has quadrupled since 1999, despite Americans reporting a steady amount of pain.
Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that traditional methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – pose potential safety and health hazards and should be avoided.
Unused prescriptions can be turned in year-round at many local law enforcement locations. Kansans should contact their local sheriff’s office or police department for more information.