Prescription pill take back todayPublished 12:00am Thursday, October 18, 2012
Participating in today’s prescription pill take back day will not only keep drugs out of the wrong hands, but also will protect the environment.
Janet Wofford, facilitator for the Conecuh-Sepulga and Blackwater Rivers Clean Water Partnership, said, “We are aware of the dangers of unused drugs falling into the hands of children or being used for illegal purposes, but we don’t always consider the hazards posed to the environment.
“For years, we have been instructed to flush expired and unwanted medications into our sewage system or septic tank,” Wofford said. “Today, there is a battle of sorts between the environmentalists and the federal government. The government says to flush controlled substances down the toilet to keep them out of the hands of drug addicts. The environmentalists say ‘Never flush drugs down the toilet.’ ”
Sewage and waste water treatment plants are not designed to filter out these drugs and they are ultimately being discharged into the ground and surface water, she said. It has also been shown that the antibiotics being disposed of in this manner are killing the beneficial bacteria needed to operate the sewage system processing plants as well as personal septic tanks.
This year’s first Prescription Pill Take Back Day, is set for 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. today, Thurs., Oct. 18, at Darby’s Village Pharmacy located at 301 East Three Notch St. in Andalusia. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are eligible and it is a “no questions asked” drop-off. Law enforcement officials will be on hand to accept the medications.
Partners for this worthwhile project include Covington County Children’s Policy Council Coalition, Covington County Drug Task Force, Covington County Sheriff’s Office, Andalusia Regional Hospital, Alabama Clean Water Partnership, Darby’s Village Pharmacy, and Andalusia Police Department.