Summit County’s prescription take-back provides a safe way to dispose of drugs |

Summit County’s prescription take-back provides a safe way to dispose of drugs

Summit County collected and disposed of several pounds of medications during their electronic and pharmaceutical drop-off event last March.
Courtesy of Summit County |

Summit County will host its annual prescription take-back event on Saturday, April 18, at Summit High School during the 9Health Fair. Residents can drop off unused, unwanted and expired medications to be disposed of properly, from 7 a.m. to noon.

“This is an easy, convenient way to get rid of unused medications and we’re excited to participate again this year,” Sheriff John Minor said in a statement. “It helps keep prescription drugs out of kids’ hands, and it prevents unused medications from ending up in our landfill or water supply,”

Residents are asked to leave prescriptions in their containers and black out personal information on the labels; the sheriff’s office will dispose of them. Last year, the department destroyed 46 pounds of medications.

Prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs follow marijuana and alcohol as the most commonly abused substances by Americans ages 14 and older, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention reports that almost 224,000 Coloradans annually misuse prescription drugs.

The disposal of medication can also be problematic from an environmental perspective. Sewage systems are not equipped to remove flushed drugs from the water system, leading to ecological damage.

“We do see prescription drug abuse in Summit County, but as a community, we can come together and take some easy steps toward prevention,” Healthy Futures Coordinator Laurie Blackwell said in a statement. “Forty-two percent of Colorado teens say it’s easy to get prescription drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets. That tells you how important it is to remove access to these substances.”

The prescription take-back is a partnership of the Summit County Healthy Futures initiative, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. After the event, unwanted medications can be discarded at designated bins at the Breckenridge and Dillon City Market stores. The stores will not accept narcotics or controlled substances.

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