Safe disposal

Representatives of various organizations attend a ceremony earlier this month to promote a plan to distribute Deterra drug disposal containers to health care facilities in Lewis County. Elaine M. Avallone/Watertown Daily Times

People in Lewis County now have more opportunities to safely dispose of unused medications.

Members of the United Prevention Coalition of Lewis County distributed Deterra drug disposal containers at several local health centers; the containers hold more than 1,000 pills along with liquids and patches. Individuals who want to get rid of prescription pills they no longer need can drop them into the containers stored at these facilities during their regular business hours.

UP! Coalition coordinator Cassie Forbus, Alliance for Better Communities project director Anita K. Seefried-Brown and Alex Hazard of WWTI-TV/ABC50 joined the staff of the Copenhagen Health Center earlier this month for a ceremony to kick off the new initiative. Other sites where the Deterra drug disposal containers have been dispersed are Beaver River Health Center in Beaver Falls, Behavioral Health & Wellness Center in Lowville, Harrisville Health Center in Harrisville, Lowville Medical Associates in Lowville and South Lewis Health Center in Lyons Falls.

People tend to store prescription medications they don’t take any longer or that have expired. This creates hazards for them and others in their homes.

These unused pills must be disposed of properly. Throwing them away in the trash or flushing them down a toilet is risky and unadvisable.

The UP! Coalition usually organizes an event each year where unused medications can be turned in and disposed of safely. The benefit of distributing Deterra drug disposal containers to sites throughout Lewis County is that people can now safely dispose of their prescriptions at any time when the facilities are open.

Similar prescription drug take-backs are held in other parts of the north country. State Sen. Patricia Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, has been involved with law enforcement agencies and hospitals in organizing Shed the Meds events for many years.

UP! Coalition of Lewis County members previously partnered with the Lewis County Office for the Aging to dispense about 250 Deterra drug disposal bags to home-delivered meal clients. We commend everyone who has helped ensure that unused medications are disposed of safely and no longer pose any threat to unsuspecting victims.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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