What happens to meds after Drug Take Back Day? - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

What happens to meds after Drug Take Back Day?

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Colony Drug and Wellness Center is doing it's part to help fight prescription drug abuse.
They held a Drug Take Back Day to help get unwanted, old and unused medications off the streets. But what happens after those meds are dropped off, 59 News is working for you to find out.

For controlled substances the answer is not that simple. All controlled substances must be handled by a law enforcement official and destroyed by those officials. Law enforcement officials use a solution to break down the drugs. This solution forms the drugs into a gel that can be thrown out. For all other medications the process is a lot easier.

"What we do is properly mark and package the drugs and send them away to an out of state facility that can properly dispose of the drugs," Amanda Shrewsberry, WVU Pharmacy student said.   Shrewsberry explained the drugs go to professional companies that follow the FDA guidelines on how to proper dispose of medications.

She explained the public often times does not destroy drugs the way that is recommended and this could cause some major problems for mother nature.

One of the most common, but more harmful ways folks are getting rid of drugs is to flush them.
Experts warn this is not good for mother nature.

Sherwsberry's colleague, Leslie White also a West Virginia University Pharmacy student said, "if medications aren't disposed of properly they can affect the water systems. They can get into the wrong hands, kids, animals which is not good for the environment."

So what should someone do if they missed Drug Take Back Day on Monday?  White has a simple solution folks can combine at home, to make disposing of drugs safer.

"They can use old coffee grounds and they just put medications in with them and throw away in the trash or mix used or unused kitty litter in a plastic bag and throw it in the trash," White said.

But what should folks do with those medication bottles?  Believe it or not, they contain some very sensitive and personal information, White said.  She explained that folks should not just put an empty prescription in the trash.  She said what you need to do before dumping the bottle is take a marker and scratch off your name, your doctor's name, the type of pill and your prescription number.  White said this way no one can try and refill a prescription that is yours.

In case you missed Monday's Drug Take Back Day, there will be a nationwide event held, Saturday April 27th, 2013.  For details on locations of a drop off near you, click here. Or folks can call 1-800-882-9539 if you require assistance.


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