St. Louis Medication Disposal Initiative
St. Louis College of Pharmacy
4588 Parkview Place * St. Louis, MO 63110 * www.stlcop.edu
April 25, 2011
St. Louis College of Pharmacy, City of St. Louis, and DEA
Partner to Form the St. Louis Medication Disposal Initiative
The initiative will educate people about proper disposal and
motivate them to clean out their medicine cabinets
ST. LOUIS – Nationwide, the disposal of expired and unused medication is garnering increased attention from law enforcement officials, government and community leaders, and health care professionals because of associated drug abuse, medication safety, and environmental concerns. St. Louis isn’t immune to these issues.
To educate people about the proper disposal of medications and motivate them to clean out their medicine cabinets, St. Louis College of Pharmacy (STLCOP), the City of St. Louis, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have partnered to form the St. Louis Medication Disposal Initiative. This initiative has two primary components:
- From April 25-29, STLCOP alumni and students will volunteer at designated senior centers in the city, answering questions about medication safety and disposal. Law enforcement officials also will be present to collect and later incinerate the medications.
- Promote participation in the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public can drop off expired and unused medications, over-the-counter medications, and unknown tablets and capsules at four designated Walgreens locations in the City of St. Louis (4218 Lindell; 3822 S. Kingshighway; 1530 Lafayette; and 3720 N. Kingshighway); St. Louis Metropolitan Police Headquarters (1200 Clark Street); and numerous other locations throughout the region. Find a medication drop-off location.
“St. Louis College of Pharmacy, the City of St. Louis and DEA are focused on collecting unused and expired medications to improve safety and reduce drug abuse risks, and educate people on how to properly dispose of their medications,” said STLCOP President John a. Pieper. “In any community, pharmacists are the most accessible health care professionals and a logical resource for educating people about the proper use and disposal of medications.”
Medication disposal has become increasingly important because studies indicate the storage of unused and expired medications can lead to accidental misuse and dangerous interactions – especially among seniors, and to prescription drug abuse by teenagers. Also, recent studies have shown that pharmaceuticals enter our wastewater from a variety of sources, including through flushing of medications. Sewage treatment plants, septic systems, and drinking water infrastructures aren’t equipped to remove such contaminants.
“This is a great partnership between the City of St. Louis, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and the DEA,” said Mayor Francis G. Slay. “By properly disposing of medication – and by keeping it out of the wrong hands – we’re improving the safety and health of our community. I encourage residents to go through their own medicine cabinets to properly dispose of unneeded or expired medications.”
“Medicines that languish in our medicine cabinets at home are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” said Harry S. Sommers, special agent in charge for the St. Louis division of the DEA. “Studies show that rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high. So are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses because of these drugs. Often, the primary source for these drugs is family and friends – including from home medicine cabinets. We are pleased to offer this initiative with our state and local law enforcement partners to address such a vital public safety and health issue.”
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