Canal Winchester, the Diley Ridge Medical Center and the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office are partnering to sponsor an Oct. 26 collection of unused drugs.
This year's Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26, in the parking lot of the medical center, 7911 Diley Road. The event is part of a national Drug Enforcement Agency program.
Since 2011, these partner organizations have hosted a local collection of unused prescription drugs to great success, according to Canal Winchester Mayor Michael Ebert.
"This will be a drive-through type setting where all you need to do is drop your unwanted prescription drugs and continue on your way," Ebert said. "Since we joined in on this program in 2011, we have taken in more than 200,000 prescription pills at the Diley Ridge drop-off location and we hope everyone in the area will take advantage of this opportunity to dispose of their expired and unwanted medications again."
This year, however, residents are asked not to bring liquid medications, including inhalers and their refills.
"Prescription drug abuse over the years has become more widespread and it's time we start doing more to protect our children and grandchildren," Chief Deputy Jerry Perrigo said.
According to studies by the Partnership for a Drug Free America, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs found in home medicine cabinets to get high for their first time.
"Studies show that prescription drug abuse is often tied to medications from family and friends, including those readily available in home medicine cabinets," medical center President Jodi Wilson said. "It is important to have a method to dispose of unused medication in order to reduce prescription drug abuse."
In the past, people were told to flush medications down the toilet. However, Steve Smith, Canal Winchester's water reclamation manager, said environmental studies have shown these drugs aren't just floating away.
"There's a growing concern of the impact of pharmaceuticals in wastewater and how they affect the fish and wildlife in the streams and rivers in the areas where we live," he said. "This unused prescription collection goes a long way in raising public awareness, as well as helping to take some of the unused medications out of our landfills."
More information about the program is available by calling the city at 614-834-5100.