Local News

National Rx take-back day: bring unused in, no questions asked

RUTLAND—On Saturday, Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department will accept unused, unneeded or expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs with no questions asked. This will be the 14th national Drug Takeback Day facilitated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, occurring twice each year.

The collection will take place in Diamond Run Mall, Route 7 South, Rutland Town. If the mall is inconvenient, the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department accepts prescription drugs at 88 Grove St., Rutland, Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There are many other locations that accept prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Search online by zip code to find the closest location at the DEA’s Office of Diversion control website. Liquid drugs are accepted, but not in syringes or other sharp containers. Find out how to properly dispose of needles/syringes at the Rutland County Solid Waste District website, rcswd.com/other-programs.

These collection events were inspired by an increasing need to prevent prescription drug abuse at home, as well as to reduce the public safety and environmental effects of improper disposal. Prescription drug misuse includes taking the drug in a manner other than what is prescribed, taking someone else’s prescription, and taking prescription drugs to “get high.” Disposing of unneeded drugs properly is preventing others from stealing them.

Medications must be brought to collection sites. Putting medications in the trash is not proper disposal, and flushing medications down the toilet can also create poor effects on public health and the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency conducted a study in 2010 on the stability of pharmaceuticals, personal care products and other chemicals in treated sewage returning to waterways. The results found that even after further treatment of the water with chlorine, many of the pharmaceuticals were present in the tests 28 days later. This can affect the living beings in the bodies of water where treated sewage is dumped, and it even has the potential to enter drinking water. Medications can even pass through septic tanks into groundwater, which may be a primary source of public drinking water.

Last April, Vermont collected 5,553 pounds of prescription drugs from 71 different collection sites. Keeping those medicine cabinets clean and organized can prevent the medications from accumulating.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the abuse of prescription opioid drugs (which cause more overdose deaths than any other drug) has decreased in high school seniors since the first national Drug Takeback Day. For more information on the disposal of prescription drug and other items, contact the Rutland County Solid Waste District at 802-775-7209, or visit the website at rcswd.com.

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