Riesbeck’s hosting drug take back day

ON SATURDAY, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Riesbeck’s Pharmacies and Cardinal Health will be participating in National Drug Take Back Day, organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Local law enforcement will also assist with the event. This is an opportunity for the public to safely dispose of unwanted, unused or expired prescription drugs. Drugs can be brought to any Riesbeck’s Pharmacy location, including Bridgeport, Cambridge, Shadyside, St. Clairsville, South Zanesville, and Wintersville. No questions will be asked, and the service is free and anonymous. Liquids, syringes, and aerosols will not be accepted. This service is meant to help prevent prescription drug abuse, as drugs left abandoned in a medicine cabinet can be stolen or used illegally by people other than who the drugs were prescribed for.

Studies have shown that the majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, and rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States have grown over the past several years. Accidental poisonings and overdoses from prescription drugs have also gone up. Prescription drug users should be advised that drugs can grow more potent over time, and it is unsafe to use them after the expiration date. Previous methods of drug disposal, such as throwing them in the garbage or flushing them down the toilet, have been deemed unsafe by the DEA. The DEA is currently in the process of making amendments to the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user”, meaning a patient or family member, to dispose of medications by taking them to places authorized by the Attorney General. The amendment will also allow long-term care facilities to dispose of residents’ controlled substances in certain cases, if authorized by the Attorney General.

Warner can be reached at mwarner@timesleaderonline.com