By Kristin Bednarski
Clermont County residents are encouraged to participate in National Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday, April 27 to properly dispose of prescription medications and other drugs they are no longer using.
Heidi Woods, director of the Coalition for a Drug Free Clermont County, said there are important reasons for disposing of medications properly.
“It helps prevent the diversion of prescription drugs,” Woods said.
Woods said they have done some surveys in the community and have found that individuals, especially youth, get prescription drugs from the home or the home of a friend.
Woods said removing unused prescription medications from the home minimizes the opportunity for individuals to get and abuse those medications.
“Some of the other reasons are many cannot be flushed and cannot be put in our water system,” Woods said.
James Syphax, also with the Coalition for a Drug Free Clermont County, said the Drug Enforcement Administration incinerates the medications so that they are not disposed of in a way that will contaminate the water or soil.
Syphax said they will have several drug take back sites in Clermont County April 27 including Target in Milford, located at 100 River’s Edge Drive; the Amelia Police Department, located at 44 West Main Street in Amelia; the Pierce Township Police Department, located at 950 Locust Corner Road in Cincinnati.
He said there will also be an informal take back location at the Miami Township Civic Center April 26-27 during their annual Trash Days event.
Syphax said the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office, located at 4470 Ohio 222 in Batavia, Pierce Township Police Department and Goshen Township Police Department, located at 6757 Goshen Road, have permanent drop boxes for prescription medication.
Syphax said they are looking at installing more permanent drop boxes throughout the community in the near future.
“It is important to get them out of the house,” Syphax said about prescription medications.
He said medications are often stored in a place in the home where anyone would have access to them.
“Unfortunately, with the epidemic we’re seeing in Clermont County, you don’t know who would try to take those,” Syphax said.
Woods encouraged individuals who are still using prescription medications to put them in a safe location in their home.
“What we recommend is locking them up if you can in an area other than the bathroom or kitchen,” Woods said. “The other thing is be very aware of the number of pills and keep a look out to see if any are missing.”
The 6th National Drug Take-Back Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27 at the locations in the county.
According to the DEA, more than 2 million pounds of prescription medications have been removed from circulation as a result of the previous five take-back events.
For more information about the event visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov.