On Saturday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the City of Canal Winchester and the Diley Ridge Medical Center, in cooperation with the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will give the public its 12th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to Diley Ridge Medical Center parking lot at 7911 Diley Rd. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Canal Winchester’s Take-Back event offers participants a drive-thru setting to drop any unwanted prescription drugs and continue on their way.
Last April, Canal Winchester residents turned in nearly 100 pounds of pills at the Diley Ridge drive-up site. Throughout the country, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 11 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds—about 3,200 tons—of pills. Since joining the DEA program in 2011, more than 200,000 prescription pills have been collected at the Diley Ridge drop off location. “We hope everyone in the area will again take advantage of this opportunity to dispose of their expired and unwanted medications,” said Mayor Michael Ebert. “We’d like to thank our partners and volunteers who help make this event possible, and to thank Diley Ridge Medical Center for allowing us to use their property.”
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
For a list of additional collection sites in other communities, visit www.swaco.org.