Initiative Encourages Public to Dispose of Medications Responsibly

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On April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents of the St. Louis region can take unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medication to a designated disposal site as part of the St. Louis Medication Disposal Initiative. The College has once again partnered with the city of St. Louis and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to bring the event to the public.

By dropping off medication, residents will ensure it stays out of the wrong hands and out of our water supply. In St. Louis, unwanted medications can be disposed of at four Walgreens locations. In surrounding communities, disposal locations will be located at police stations and other community locations.

The four Walgreens disposal sites are:

4218 Lindell, St. Louis, MO 63108;

3822 S. Kingshighway, St. Louis, MO 63109;

1530 Lafayette, St. Louis, MO 63104; and

3720 N. Kingshighway, St. Louis, MO 63115

Beginning April 21, College faculty members, students, and DEA agents will visit several senior housing and recreation centers in St. Louis. The College is also partnering with two churches to hold disposal events during Sunday services. They will visit Senior Living at Cambridge Heights: McCormack Baron Ragan, located at 728 Biddle St., on Monday, April 22; McCormack House at Forest Park Southeast, located at 4575 Cadet, on Tuesday, April 23; Monsanto Family YMCA, located at 5555 Page, on Wednesday, April 24; Wohl Recreation Center, located at 1515 N. Kingshighway, on Thursday, April 25; and Park Place Apartments, located at 4399 Forest Park, on Friday, April 26.

“This is a unique partnership,” says Amy Tiemeier, Pharm.D., assistant professor and director of professional affairs at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. “By increasing access to disposal sites, we know more medication will be turned in safely.”

A survey by a federal government agency found that each day, nearly 3,000 teenagers abuse a prescription drug for the first time.

“Medication abuse often starts with teens and young adults stealing from the homes of family and friends,” Tiemeier says. “Unfortunately, those medications act as a gateway to narcotics like heroin or cocaine. There’s a mistaken belief among young people that because a medication is prescribed or is available over-the-counter, it is safer than street drugs. Easy access does not equate to less harm.”

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