Residents will have a chance to properly dispose of potentially harmful unwanted medications at an upcoming “Drug Take Back” event on April 30 at the Farmington Fire Department. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
It used to be common practice to flush expired or unused medication but there is concern that these practices contribute to the contamination of surface waters, ground waters, and biosolids. Flushing antibiotics affect the “bacteria” in the sewer systems. The medications are not always removed in the water treatment process. The pharmaceuticals are also getting into groundwater, lakes, and rivers, causing mutations and problems with fish and amphibians.
Also, statistics show one in five teens are abusing prescription drugs and 70 percent are getting them from family or friends. “Pharming,” as it’s sometimes referred to, is the new trend to grab a handful of prescription medications and ingest them all at once. Studies show most teens believe that prescription medications are safer than street drugs and are easier to obtain on the street for free from friends who take them out of home medicine cabinets.
It’s been shown 29 percent of teens think that painkillers are not addictive and therefore are the second most commonly abused drug after marijuana.
Police Chief Rick Baker said the police department has committed to hosting take back events. On April 30 police and fire department personnel will be set up and collecting unwanted or outdated medications at the Farmington Fire Station from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Officers will accept unwanted medications. Anyone wishing to get rid of medications simply walks up to the table and discards the pills, liquid or other drugs into a container of liquid meant to neutralize and destroy the drugs.
Baker said the department cannot receive needles, oxygen tanks or any other hazardous goods as part of the collection efforts. The events are approved by the federal EPA and DEA.