Drop Off Called a Success with Historical Drugs Surrendered

Marion General Hospital Pharmacy Intern Megan Root checks medication with Deputy Williams to classify a medication that was collected.

Marion General Hospital Pharmacy Intern Megan Root checks medication with Deputy Williams to classify a medication that was collected.

Once again, the partnership formed by Marion County Recycling & Litter Prevention, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, ADAMH board, Marion General Hospital, Marion County Commissioners and Marion City Police Department had a successful National Prescription Drug Take Back Day last weekend. In addition to commonly found current prescriptions, organizers say they received some truly historic medications.

The event provided a great opportunity for those who missed previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.

This year’s event resulted in 164 cars driving through and dropping off 172 controlled substances, including 120 prescription opiates such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl, codeine and others.  Opiates are narcotics and are highly abused.  Addiction to prescription opiates and heroin is an increasing problem in the state of Ohio.

“We are pleased at the response of the citizens of Marion once again, and we thank them for participating and contributing to the battle against prescription drug abuse,” said Major Aaron Corwin.

Angela Carbetta, director of Marion County Recycling & Litter Prevention, was pleased to report that MARCA Document Destruction & Recycling handled three full 90-gallon barrels of cardboard and plastic prescription containers for recycling.

“Environmentally speaking, I am also very happy that all the medicine we collected will be properly incinerated instead of winding up in our rivers and streams,” said Carbetta. “Flushing old medication is no longer an appropriate option.”

She went on to say that Marion is fortunate to have MARMET Drug Task Force involved in this project.

ADAMH Board director Jody Demo-Hodgins stated, “Getting unused medication out of homes is a critical part of reducing access for teens. We know that narcotic pain relievers and other controlled substances are highly sought after by drug abusers. Removing these unused medications is a way to help prevent that abuse.”

If you missed the drop off day, it’s never too late to properly dispose of your unused prescriptions. There are now two permanent drug disposal sites in Marion County, one box each at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office on Marion-Williamsport Road and one at the Marion City Police Department on West Center Street.

“These boxes take pills of any kind. All items collected are disposed of properly,” states Corwin.

Organizers reported fewer cars than the spring collection but took in 38% more controlled substances. They also noted interesting items from a local historical perspective. There were prescriptions from the old Werley Pharmacy dating back to 1969, and a 4 ounce glass bottle of Lilly Tree Green Soap that originally sold for thirty-nine cents.

The drop off in Marion was part of a nationwide effort. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that Ohioans statewide returned more than 9 tons (18,721 pounds) of unneeded prescription drugs on Saturday. There were 223 collection sites in Ohio.

“It only takes one pill to end someone’s life,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.    “Thanks to excellent community participation in this event, thousands of pills will never get into the wrong hands.”

“The amount of pills returned by Ohioans is a strong indicator that they care very deeply about disposing of their unneeded prescriptions properly,” said DEA Columbus Group Supervisor Mark McHugh.  “We are grateful to every resident in Ohio who took time out of their busy day on Saturday to bring their medications to a drop off location.”

Communities in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, participated in Saturday’s event.

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