Safe disposal

United Prevention Coalition of Lewis County members Cassie Forbus, left, and Tyree Smith, right, distribute Deterra medicine disposal bags with Crystal Collette, executive director for the Lewis County Office for the Aging. Photo submitted

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day organized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which was scheduled for April 25, had to be postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

During this event, collection sites are established across the country for people to dispose of prescription medications. This provides a safe and convenient way for these drugs to be discarded by health care professionals.

“The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration hosts a no-questions asked National Prescription Drug Take Back event twice per year. On this day, temporary collection sites are set up in local cities throughout the nation for safe disposal of prescription drugs, including opioids,” according to information on the website for “Opioid abuse is at epidemic levels in the U.S. and remains a top public health concern. Consumers should dispose of expired, unwanted or unused medicines as quickly as possible to help reduce accidental or intentional overdoses or illegal abuse. The DEA’s Take Back initiative is one of several strategies to reduce prescription drug abuse and diversion in the nation.”

The DEA announced that the Take Back Day will be rescheduled once we get through the pandemic. In the meantime, a local organization is helping people dispose of their prescription drugs in a responsible way.

Members of the United Prevention Coalition of Lewis County are distributing Deterra medicine disposal bags. The group approved spending $3,900 in April to buy five cases of the bags.

“The Deterra medicine disposal bags offer a safer alternative to flushing or simply tossing expired/unused medications,” coalition coordinator Cassie Forbus said in a story published May 11 in the Watertown Daily Times. “As more people are home, youth have easier access to medications, and these bags may help to prevent overdoses from occurring.”

UP! Coalition of Lewis County members partnered with the Lewis County Office for the Aging to dispense about 250 of these bags to home-delivered meal clients. They hope to pass more out to “rural community health clinics, doctor’s offices, urgent cares and possibly some churches to distribute,” Ms. Forbus said.

This is a tremendous service by the UP! Coalition of Lewis County. It’s another example of Northern New York residents stepping forward to make sure their friends and neighbors are taken care of during these trying times.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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(3) comments

Holmes -- the real one

It would have been useful for this editorial to have included a brief discussion of just why flushing medication down the toilet is not the best way to dispose of unfinished prescription drugs.


Come on Homey, you think the local drug dealer needs a ‘discussion’ on why not to flush his products down the toilet when the police are knocking down his/her door? I don’t think putting the bags are an option in this situation

Holmes -- the real one

Ahh fake "Holmes," if you had taken the time to actually read the piece you would have noted that the effort is aimed at responsible law abiding folks not drug dealers.

I get the impression that you have more affinity to the latter.

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