Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

National Drug Take-Back Day Is Saturday

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

National Drug Take-Back Day Is Saturday

Article excerpt

More than 50 locations around St. Louis will be accepting unused medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. For a list of locations, visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/ .

Several local police departments including St. Louis city, Richmond Heights, Maplewood, Brentwood, Webster Groves, Hazelwood, Florissant and St. John will serve as collection sites.

The St. Louis College of Pharmacy maintains a list of permanent drug collection sites at meddisposal.org

The medicine cabinets of friends and family have become a main source for drug addicts to get the prescription painkillers they crave. On Saturday, pharmacies across the area will be accepting unused and expired drugs through the National Drug Take-Back Initiative.

Unused medication can be a target for thieves, and expired drugs can lose their effectiveness, said Amy Tiemeier, an associate professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

The annual drug take-back event is part of the country's efforts to fight prescription drug abuse. About 6.5 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, mainly opioid painkillers, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Most of the drugs come from home medicine cabinets. In the last five years, more than 115,000 pounds of unused medications have been collected from homes in the St. Louis area.

Two drug enforcement agents and students and faculty from the pharmacy college collected unused prescription and over-the-counter medicines on Thursday from residents at the Mount Zion independent living apartments in south St. Louis. Four senior housing facilities were visited as part of a collaboration with the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging.

"In the elderly population they might have more hospitalizations, more frequent medicine changes, and end up with extras," Tiemeier said. "We don't want them to accidentally take them and be double- dosing. …

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