Bottles of unused medications clogging up the medicine cabinet?
Today, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lathrop Police Services is giving residents an opportunity to get rid of those old, expired, or unnecessary medications as part of their annual drug take-back initiative sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency – aimed at keeping prescription medications out of the hands for people for whom they are not intended.
After removing labels or obscuring personal information, residents can bring their bottles down to the Lathrop Senior Center where they will be collected, weighed and then properly disposed of – a service that has been gaining in popularity in recent years as it becomes a regular offering in the city. When Lathrop Police Services first held a drug take-back event, only a few pounds of medications were collected, but in the last two years, dozens of pounds of unneeded medications were collected, turned over the DEA and ultimately destroyed.
And the event is being viewed by some as a step toward combatting one of the biggest health crises facing America today.
With illicit opiate use rampant in many communities across the country, police departments urge people with prescriptions that could be abused to keep close tabs on them and make sure that if any of those pills are left over they’re disposed of properly by bringing them to authorized collection sites. Communities prohibit flushing them down the toilet because ultimately the chemicals end up in local waterways and could adversely affect fish and wildlife that may come into contact with trace amounts.
Medicine cabinets are also commonly the targets of drug-seeking thieves who believe that a resident may have a controlled substance on hand – making seniors susceptible to such crimes. Getting rid of the medications that aren’t absolutely necessary serves as a protection against such thieves, and eliminates the possibility of familial diversion – where somebody in the household abuses the medication of another, often times without their knowledge.
The Lathrop Senior Center is located at 15707 5th Street. For additional information about the drug take-back day, contact Lathrop Police Services at 209.858.5551.