Dispose of meds safely to prevent poisoning and pollution

The Putnam County Communities That Care Coalition, in collaboration with the Putnam County Health Department and Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, will hold a Spring Medication Take Back Event at Putnam Hospital Center (PHC) on Saturday, April 25, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Enter through the PHC Cancer Pavilion entrance. Individuals can dispose of prescription, over-the-counter and pet medications. Syringes will not be accepted. Keep all medications in their original packaging and remove personal patient information.

By bringing in your expired or unwanted medications to a take-back day, you insure that it will be disposed of in a safe manner. Members of the Sheriff’s Department will secure and dispose of the medications according to the law. By doing so, you also ensure that there are no “accidental” poisonings/overdoses by leaving unwanted prescriptions in your home.

When you participate in Take Back Day, you don’t have to worry about causing harm to the environment by flushing medications down the toilet or disposing of them in your trash. Medicines that are flushed down the drain or that leach from landfills eventually end up in our waterways. Pharmaceuticals have become a significant water pollutant nationwide.

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S. today. According to the most recent data by the CDC, more than 60 people die every day in the U.S. from overdosing on prescription drugs. Prescription drug overdose death rates now outnumber deaths from all illicit drugs — including heroin and cocaine — combined.

For more information, call Robert Morris of the Putnam County Health Department at 845-808- 1390, ext. 43166, or Kristen McConnell of the National Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies/Putnam at 845-225-4646.

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