Summit County adds two new medication drop off boxes | SummitDaily.com

Summit County adds two new medication drop off boxes

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

County adds two new medication drop off boxes

The Dillon Police Department and Prescription Alternatives, a pharmacy in Frisco, both installed medication drop off boxes earlier this month. Residents can reduce the risk of substance abuse by using the boxes to safely dispose of unwanted or unused prescription medications.

"Across the country, we're seeing a real epidemic of prescription drug addiction, and Summit County is not immune," Dillon Police Chief Mark Heminghous said in a release. "Prompt, proper disposal of unused medications is a key prevention strategy."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, and at least half of all U.S. opioid deaths involve prescription drugs.

Pharmaceuticals that sit unused in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to theft, misuse and abuse. Their easy availability can also result in accidental poisonings and overdoses.

Substance abuse, however, is not the only concern related to unused prescription drugs. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, certain drugs may cause ecological harm, and some drugs may end up in drinking water sources when disposed of improperly. Trace amounts of drugs can impact fish reproduction and contribute to antibiotic resistance, according to EPA.

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Around six months ago, local City Market pharmacies removed their medication-collection receptacles from service, leaving only one drop-off location at the Justice Center. The two new receptacles are provided by CDPHE, through the Colorado Household Medication Take-Back Program.

To use any of the three drop-off locations in Summit County, residents should leave medications in their original containers and mark out all personal information. Accepted items include prescription medication, prescribed controlled substances, over-the-counter medication, medication samples, liquid medications, medicated ointments and lotions, vitamins and pet medications.

If you have very large quantities of medications in your home in need of disposal, put all pills in one zip-top bag, seal it and drop the bag into the collection receptacle. If the medications have other packaging that can be easily removed, such as cardboard boxes, dispose of such packaging separately.

Items not accepted include Schedule I controlled substances — such as marijuana or heroin — bloody or infectious waste, personal care products, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans, thermometers, IV bags, chemotherapy medication, needles and other sharps. Summit County Public Health maintains a sharps-collection box at the Summit County Justice Center for safe needle disposal.