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Residents return old, unused prescriptions during Drug Disposal Day

Local - 2/4/2013 4:59 PM by Karen Franklin
BECKLEY - Students at a Beckley pharmacy received bagfuls of unwanted or expired medications turned in by members of the community Monday.

The prescription take-back was a part of Drug Disposal Day, which also aims to educate the public about ways to dispose of their medications at home.

"A lot of people think they can just flush their medications down the commode, or, you know, put it in our water system, and they're not aware that trace amounts of that is staying in our water system," said West Virginia University pharmacy student Julie Brown, who graduates in May.

Instead, she said, pills can be wet and put in kitty litter or coffee grounds.

The students were handed Ziploc bags filled with multiple pill types, boxes of expired medications and large amounts of sample prescriptions from doctors' offices. Inhalers were also common because they're medications used as needed by asthma patients.

Personal information on the medications will be removed and shredded. The pills or liquids will be disposed of later.

"It's nice not to keep these drugs stockpiled around your home because people may see them -- especially if you have a lot. So it might deter some drug theft," Brown said.

Beckley resident William White brought his medications in because his doctor changed his prescription.

"Keeping it out of hands of people that want it or don't need it," he told WOAY.

Controlled substances, which are medications regulated by the government and that have the potential for abuse, were not accepted Monday. A drug take-back of those substances requires a law enforcement officer present.

The pharmacy students told WOAY they expected to get at least 25 to 30 residents to come in. Anyone who missed the event can find a year-round drop off location.

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