DTF to collect Rx drugs Thursday

Published 1:18 am Saturday, October 12, 2013

A prescription pill take back is set for 9 a.m. until noon on Thurs., Oct. 17, in the Andalusia Wal-Mart parking lot.

Residents are encouraged to take expired and unwanted prescriptions and over-the-counter medications for free and safe disposal. No personal information will be requested and no questions will be asked.

“This is a great opportunity for area residents to safely dispose of old and un-needed medications,” said Drug Task Force agent Dave Harrell. “Because of the danger to the environment and an ever-present danger of our children obtaining these medications, it is of the utmost importance that we take every possible opportunity to safeguard our communities and families.”

The event is sponsored not only by the DTF, but also the Covington County Children’s Policy Council Coalition, Wal-Mart, and the Alabama Clean Water Partnership.

Janet Wofford of the ACWP, said, “The flushing of prescription and non-prescription drugs into our sewer and septic systems is becoming an increasing concern for the health of waters.

“Water treatment facilities are not equipped to filter out these contaminants,” she said. “The safest way to dispose of these drugs is through drug take back days.”

Harrell said that there are many circumstances where one may have old prescriptions, but one is unsure what to do with the leftover pills.

“Most of us have had family members to pass away, and then we find ourselves in possession of that person’s medication,” Harrell said. “Then we’re at a loss as to what to do with it. Or, there are some who just don’t need a certain medication anymore, and it’s sitting in the medicine cabinet, collecting dust until one of our children gets their hands on it.

“This is a perfect opportunity to dispose of that medicine,” he said. “Studies have shown that flushing this medication or throwing it out with the garbage is no longer safe for our local environment. These medications have started showing up in area water and that poses a serious threat to everyone.”

Harrell said all medication received will be destroyed by DTF agents.

“All you have to do is bring it to Wal-Mart and hand it to an agent,” he said. “There will be no questions asked, and no identification required.”