COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Central Ohioans joined others around the country Saturday in clearing out their medicine cabinets to prevent drug abuse.
At least 15 locations around greater Columbus collected unused medication during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
“We’re committed to helping with the addiction epidemic and it starts by something as simple as getting rid of the medications,” said Public Health Administrator Andrea Boxill.
At Columbus Public Health, health workers teamed up with Columbus Police, advocates, and volunteers for a simple, drive-through operation. They collected everything from pills and patches to syringes and E-cigarette cartridges.
Boxill explained keeping unneeded medicine at home can pose risks for accidental ingestion or lead to drug abuse.
She said, “Many people start with what’s closest to them and that’s what’s in the home.”
Maurice Hunter Sr. was among the participants in the drug take-back event. He had been holding onto unused prescriptions since his wife passed away in January because he was concerned about throwing them in the garbage.
“What if a kid or an animal or something gets ahold of it? It’s deadly,” Hunter said.
Several detectives collecting the medication estimated it was the biggest turnout they’d seen from recent drug take-back events.
“The message is getting out,” Columbus Police Commander Joe Echenroad said. “People know these drugs can be dangerous. They need to be disposed of safely. Otherwise, they could end up in the wrong hands.”
In nearby Circleville, 64.3 pounds of medications and potentially dangerous drugs were collected.
“That is 64.3 pounds of drugs that will not be misused or end up on the streets,” the Circleville Police Department wrote on its Facebook page.
You can discreetly drop off unused drugs year-round at designated locations throughout Central Ohio. Find a list of those by clicking here.