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Old pills

Published April 27. 2011 05:00PM

Bet you can't guess what April 30 is?

Give up?

It's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Sorry, your boss won't give you a paid vacation day for it. But it does have some importance and there is some local participation.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is sponsored by the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This is the second such annual event.

More than 4,700 sites nationwide have joined the effort that seeks to prevent pill abuse and theft. This is hundreds more sites than were established for the event last fall. The free event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.

Government, community, public health and law enforcement partners at these sites will be working together to collect expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs that are potentially dangerous if left in the family's medicine cabinet.

From the best of our knowledge, no Carbon County Agency is participating, and there are no Carbon drop-off points.

In Schuylkill County, there are numerous locations. They include state police barracks in Frackville and Schuylkill Haven, Mahanoy City Police Department, Schuylkill County District Attorney's Office, and at the North Schuylkill Junior-Senior High where local police will take them.

It's a good program, and we wish it were more widespread. In fact, it would be great if a year-round program was established not only to collect expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs, but to also collect empty pill bottles.

Chances are, if someone enters a nursing home or passes away and has a medicine cabinet full of pills, they are merely discarded into the garbage. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is just once a year so who saves the old, unwanted medications until that particular day?

Besides, having such medications laying around could be deadly to a young child.

As for empty pill bottles, salves, and liquid medicines, tossing them into the garbage can lead to someone getting personal information about yourself or loved one. There are some medications you might not want anyone to know you are taking.

There should be sites where outdated medications and empty medicine containers can be discarded safely. Why not at a hospital? How about doctors offices?

If no such sites are established, hopefully Carbon officials jump on board for the Natioanl Prescription Take-Back Day.

By Ron Gower

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