By Charlotte Underwood / Staff writer
In an effort to help citizens correctly dispose of unwanted medications and cut back on “accidental dealing,” the London and Harlan posts of the Kentucky State Police will participate in a National Prescription Take Back Initiative on Sept. 29.
The event will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at KSP Posts statewide, including State Police Post 10 in Harlan, which serves Knox County as well as Bell and Harlan Counties.
For KSP Post 11 in London, Saturday’s hours are the same, but the location will be at the Laurel County Health Department, located at 525 Whitley Street (KY 363) in London, about a mile off the Route 192 intersection near Lowe’s.
The London Post covers Laurel and Whitley counties, as well as Clay, McCreary, Pulaski, Rockcastle and Wayne counties.
The “Take Back” will help with what police refer to as “accidental dealers.
If you have medications in your home, visitors may see and take those medications and this basically makes you an accidental dealer; people who unknowingly have or give access to prescription drugs. These drugs, and over-the-counter drugs, can be left in the medicine cabinet, or sitting around at home. It can be easy access for someone, as well as becoming a target for children and for thieves,” said Trooper Don Trosper, the Public Affairs Officer for the State Police Post in London.
“We encourage the public to come out and participate in this program, getting unwanted medications out of the home could end up saving someone’s life,” said Harlan Post Public Information Officer Shane Jacobs.
“Our thought is, if you don’t need it anymore, then there is a proper way to dispose of it and that is in the take back,” Trosper said, adding that the “Take Back” initiative offers people the chance to rid their homes of both expired or unwanted prescription medications, and that Saturday’s program is free and anonymous to those attending. In addition, no identification requests will be made to anybody who brings in medications to the event.
The “Take Back” event is held two times a year, once in the spring and again in the fall.
“The first year, we had it at our Post 10 offices and only a few persons attended, but the last couple of years, we’ve gotten a bigger attendance by having it over at the health department. Last fall, we had over 100 pounds of medications turned in,”
The first time the “Take Back” was held, only about four pounds of medications were collected.
“It has steadily increased over the years and we hope it continues,” Trosper said.
While the disposal drop box will only be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, there is a permanent drug drop box located at the London Police Department, according to Trosper.
If you plan on participating in the prescription drug “take back” at either London or Harlan, here are some tips from the state police:
—You can dispose of medication in their original containers, or by removing medications from their containers and disposing of them directly into the original box.
—All solid dosage pharmaceutical products and liquids in consumer containers may be accepted. Cough syrup and other liquid products should remain sealed in their original containers. You should make sure the cap, or caps, are sealed tightly to prevent leaks.
—Intravenous solutions, syringes, and injectables will not be accepted, because of the potential hazard posed by blood-borne pathogens.
—And, illicit substances like marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative, and should not be placed in collection containers.
According to Trosper, one place medications should not be disposed of sits in a heavily-used room at home.
“People are urged not to flush medications in the toilet. We can dispose of them here properly this Saturday.”
If you need more information on Saturday’s prescription drug “take back” program, contact the KSP Post 10 in London at 606-878-6622, or KSP Post 11 in Harlan at 606-573-3131.
By Charlotte Underwood / Staff writer
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