ST. GEORGE — Saturday is “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day,” and Southern Utahns are encouraged to safely dispose of their old prescription medications at two different Southern Utah events.
The Washington County Prevention Coalition wants you to know it’s time to throw out the leftovers in your medicine cabinet. Join the coalition at a community prescription “Drug Take-Back Day” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the Smith’s parking lot, 20 N. Bluff Street, St. George.
Drive by and drop off your unused, expired or excess prescription drugs, and the coalition will ensure they are properly disposed of, free of charge.
Disposal boxes are also located throughout the community at local police and sheriff’s offices, as well as at permanent medication drop boxes at Intermountain Community Pharmacy locations, including Watson Dixie Pharmacy on the first floor of the River Road Campus, located at 1380 E. Medical Center Drive in St. George, and River Road Clinic Pharmacy, located at 577 S. River Road in St. George.
Drop boxes are accessible during normal business hours. Watson Dixie is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. River Road Clinic Pharmacy is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Smith’s grocery store in Cedar City is holding a free prescription drug take-back from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday for people to bring in their old or unused prescriptions and turn them in anonymously.
The event is being held at 633 S. Main St. in Cedar City, and participants may drop off unused or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
The event is sponsored by Southwest Behavior Health Center and the Iron County Prevention Coalition.
Take-back events help raise awareness of the importance of proper medicine disposal as well as the importance of locking up medications.
With deaths by prescription drug overdose skyrocketing over 300 percent nationally in the past decade, it has become more important than ever to take preventive steps to dispose of medications properly. Utah currently ranks fifth in the nation for fatal drug overdoses. This year, overdose was responsible for 566 deaths statewide.
“I think we can all fall victim to the mindset, ‘I paid a lot that for medication. I can’t just throw it out.’ Or we think we might be able to use it down the road. But, we need to think of prescription drugs like any other hazard in our home and take the necessary steps to keep our families and ourselves safe,” Teresa Willie, of the Washington County Prevention Coalition, said. “We store cleaning supplies on a high shelf; we turn in the pan handle when cooking; and yet, we leave prescription drugs that can be addictive and dangerous if used improperly within reach.”
She added that proper disposal is vital because many drugs can be harmful to the environment if just flushed or thrown out.
“The chemicals in many prescription drugs could poison our water and soil if not disposed of properly,” Willie said. “It’s important to clean it out, but make sure it goes to a designated collection box or agency.”
Additional information about safe disposal, use and storage of prescription drugs can be found here.
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