SHASTA COUNTY – Have you been trying to figure out what to do with your expired, unused and unneeded medications? Do you know that the FDA now recommends NOT disposing of most medications down the drain? We have a solution for you! Once again Shasta County law enforcement agencies and Public Health are teaming up to host a free medication disposal event. On Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Redding Police Department, Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency-Public Health and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will host a free Drug Drop-Off event at the Mt. Shasta Mall in the Sears parking lot.
This drug collection event provides community members an opportunity to prevent medication abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications. Pills should be removed from their containers and placed in a zip-type bag. Syringes, liquids, inhalers, and/or creams will not be accepted.
Last September Shasta County residents turned in 510 pounds of medication; an increase of 35 pounds over the last event. This event helps to address a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that sit in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported in 2011, an estimated 6.1 million people age 12 and over were current, nonmedical users of prescription drugs. In Shasta County 31% of high school students report having tried a medication to get high at some point in their lifetime. Also, as many as 54% of people who abuse prescription drugs obtain the drugs they abuse from family and friends for FREE, including from the home medicine cabinet. Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
For more information about this event, call Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health at (530) 245-6858, or visit www.shastahhsa.net.