Macey’s sponsors drug drop off event

“Crush them and flush them” used to be the way to dispose of old and unneeded medications, but now Cache Valley residents are being encouraged to turn them over to the police. Macey’s in Providence is throwing a Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet event July 31 from 9 a.m. to noon. Anyone can stop by the north end of the parking lot at booths that will be set up. Police officers will be there to take unneeded medications from locals through their car windows. “They won’t even need to get out of their car,” said Darwin Kitchen, Macey’s pharmacy manager. Kitchen said the most frequent question his pharmacy gets is how to dispose of their old medications. After the police collect the medications, they will incinerate them. Leah Ann Lamb, assistant director at the Division of Water Quality, said there are several reasons why proper disposal is important: to prevent abuse, poisoning and pollution. According to the Utah Department of Health, of 467 drug-related overdoses in 2007, 317 can be attributed to legal drugs. Of these 317 overdoses, 261 deaths involved prescription pain medication. Drug overdoses led the cause of death in Utah in 2007, even more than car crashes. Locking up medications or disposing of them properly can prevent them from being misused, Lamb said. Improper disposal of medication can also harm the environment. Medicines, especially hormone treatments, can get into the water system and effect wildlife. Water treatment facilities are not equipped to handle the chemicals medicines put in the water. While Lamb said Utah has not been thoroughly tested, there is no current data that suggests Utah’s water is in trouble, though other water sources in the country have been seeing side effects of too much chemical. Lamb’s department funds programs that enable the proper disposal of medications. They have placed 53 medication drop-off bins in police stations across the state where prescription and over-the-counter drugs can be dropped off and disposed of. Saturday’s event is one of more than 14 similar events sponsored by the Department of Water Quality around the state. More information about how to prevent abuse can be found at

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