NATIONAL DRUG TAKE BACK DAY THIS SATURDAY, APRIL 27. WORCESTER COUNTY RESIDENTS URGED TO
SAFELY DISPOSE OF UNWANTED MEDICATIONS
Operation Medicine Drop: Safe Communities-Healthy Waterways provides local drop off locations
Snow Hill, MD – Worcester County residents are urged to participate in the countywide drug take back effort, Operation Medicine Drop, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 27.
Operation Medicine Drop: Safe Communities-Healthy Waterways is a chance to safely dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired over-the-counter and prescription medications by dropping them off at the following designated sites throughout the county:
· Pocomoke Health Center, 400-A Walnut Street.
· Snow Hill Health Department, 6040 Public Landing Road.
· Berlin Police Department, 10 Williams Street.
· Food Lion, Rt. 611 in West Ocean City.
· Food Lion, Manklin Creek Rd. in Ocean Pines.
· Town of Ocean City Police Dept. and Ocean Pines Police Dept. offices both have permanent drop-off boxes for safe disposal of medications all year long.
Local law enforcement officers and volunteers will assist residents as they drop off their medicine at the designated drop off sites. There is no charge for this service and no questions asked.
The program prevents potentially harmful medications from entering our waterways and impacting aquatic life. In 2004, the USGS identified 100 different pharmaceuticals in surface water, including acetaminophen, caffeine, codeine, antibiotics and warfarin (a common blood thinner). They also found that an antibiotic, a drug used to treat bipolar disorder and nicotine had contaminated aquifers.
“Operation Medicine Drop events are an important part of our community outreach,” said Assateague COASTKEEPER Kathy Phillips. “By not flushing medications, or throwing them in the trash can, we are able to keep thousands of pounds of pharmaceuticals out of our waterways and our drinking water.”
Operation Medicine Drop also prevents medications from accidentally falling into the hands of small children or pets and from being abused by teens or adults. More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
“Safety is no accident,” said Worcester County Health Department Deputy Health Officer Dr. Andrea Mathias.“This is a chance for people to prevent prescriptions and over-the-counter medications from being misused or abused. It also keeps dangerous substances away from small children and pets who may accidentally ingest them."
Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.
To address this problem, Drug Enforcement Administration in collaboration with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Berlin Police Department, Worcester County Health Department and Assateague Coastal Trust/COASTKEEPER are sponsoring Operation Medicine Drop.
For more information about Operation Medicine Drop, visithttp://actforbays.org/PressRoom/Events/opmeds.html
Lt. Edward C. Schreier
Worcester County Sheriff’s Office