Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Lifestyles

April 16, 2012

Giving Back: Rx Take Back starts in May

CROSSVILLE — What do you do with prescriptions that have expired or no longer of use to you? If you've decided to clear out that museum of unused, expired medication in your medicine cabinet, how do you get rid of all the stuff responsibly?

Worry no more! The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department in May will launch Rx Take Back to give residents a safe and secure location to dispose of unwanted prescriptions. A prescription medication drop box will be installed in the 24-hour lobby of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at the Justice Center.  Cumberland Medical Center has agreed to incinerate the collected prescriptions.

Don’t flush your leftover prescriptions down the toilet. Recent research has shown that wastewater treatment plants and septic systems only partially remove pharmaceuticals, so these chemicals end up in rivers and streams. They can then affect both wildlife and disease-causing organisms in nature, harming the former and increasing drug-resistance in the latter. Trace levels of chemicals found in prescription drugs have been detected in 80 percent of the streams across the country.  The long-term health risk of consuming minute quantities of pharmaceuticals over a lifetime through drinking water is unknown.

Police know that many home break-ins are by desperate people looking for drugs. More and more, the preferred drugs are prescriptions and are the drugs youth have the easiest access to. Cleaning out your medicine cabinets and locking up the medications that you need eliminates much temptation.

Lt. Casey Cox of the Sheriff’s Department will present the Rx Take Back at crime prevention meetings in Pleasant Hill May 5 and at the CMC health fair.

“I believe that the program will help keep these unused prescriptions out of children’s hands and keep our water systems from being contaminated,” said Lt. Cox.

One other note: If you have burned out CFLs, you can hand them to a worker at the Cumberland County Recycling Center for safe disposal.

If you have recycling questions, let me know and I will try to get answers: lgorenflo@gmail.com.

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