Safely dispose of unused prescription meds

HONOLULU — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is asking the community to bring in their expired or unused prescription medications to Longs Drugs, 4-831 Kuhio Highway, Kapa‘a, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 13, a news release states.

Attorney General David Louie, DEA Special-Agent-in-Charge Robin Dinlocker, and Narcotics Enforcement Division Acting Administrator Derek Nakamura encourage Hawai‘i residents to turn in unused, unneeded, or expired prescription medications at the statewide collection sites.

The service is free and anonymous – no questions asked. Tablets, capsules, and all other solid dosage forms will be accepted.

“This is the third time our department has worked with the National Take Back Initiative. Our partners include the Drug Enforcement Administration and the State Narcotics Enforcement Division,” Louie said. “With each Take Back effort, we continue to receive a large number of unneeded prescription medications from the community. I encourage everyone to participate to help keep your homes and your communities safe.”

“The April 30, 2011 National Take Back event collected nearly 1,300 pounds of prescription medication statewide,” Dinlocker said.

“Until new regulations are in place, the DEA and its national and community partners will continue to hold prescription drug take back events.”

Unused or expired medicine should be disposed of properly when it is no longer needed for the illness for which it was prescribed.

The federal news release offered these points on prescription medications and safety:

• Medicines may lose their effectiveness after the expiration date.

• Improper use of prescription drugs can be as dangerous as illegal drug use.

• Having unused and expired medicine in your home increases the risk of accidental poisoning.

• Homes where children or the elderly live are especially vulnerable to this danger.

• People may mistake one type of medicine for another type. Children may mistake medicine for candy.

• Unused or expired medicine should not be thrown in the trash or flushed down the toilet.

• Proper disposal helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs being used inappropriately.

• Proper disposal helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs entering a human water supply or potentially harming aquatic life.

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