Proper education about the use and disposal of medications is important in a state where prescription drug overdose deaths outnumber traffic fatalities annually, according to USU prevention specialist Ryan Barfuss. Last year, USU Police collected more than 219 pounds of unused prescription drugs, said Barfuss, who is employed at USU’s Wellness Center. In the past year, a Hyrum drug drop-off box collected 38 pounds of prescription drugs, the Cache County Sheriff’s Office collected 73 pounds and Logan collected 279 pounds, Barfuss said. “That’s a lot of prescription drugs, but it’s only scratching the surface of what’s out there,” Barfuss said. “We live in an area where people don’t like to waste things. They spend a lot of money on these prescription drugs. They save them for a rainy day — but a lot people don’t realize that these drugs expire. They lose their potency, they expire or just deteriorate, just like food.” The USU Police Department, located in the Public Safety Building, has one of Cache Valley’s six drop boxes used for the disposal of prescription drugs. “It’s a secure drop-off box that people can just put the drugs in the box, and then the police will take them and incinerate them so that they don’t get into the water,” Barfuss said. Cathy Lloyd, substance abuse prevention coordinator at Bear River Health Department, said there are six drop boxes located in Cache Valley: Hyde Park, North Logan City Office, Logan City Office, Cache County Sheriff’s Office, USU Police Office, Logan Police Office and Hyrum City offices. Lloyd said if a person decides he or she would prefer to dispose of prescription drugs at home rather than using the disposal boxes, she advises not to flush them down the toilet.
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