State and local agencies are participating in efforts to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs on Saturday, April 27.
Residents may drop off old, unwanted prescription drugs between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at these locations:
• DeGoler Pharmacy at 2040 Hutton Road
• Hen House at 8120 Parallel Ave.
• Walgreens at 7739 State Ave.
• DeGoler Pharmacy at 5701 State Ave.
• Walgreens at 2850 State Ave.
• DeGoler Pharmacy at 21 N. 12th St. in Bethany Medical Center
• Bond Pharmacy at 3017 Strong Ave.
• CVS Pharmacy at 4645 Shawnee Ave.
According to the Unified Government, the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department and the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department are participating in this effort. Other partners for this event include Kansas City Kansas Community College, Regional Prevention Center of Wyandotte and Leavenworth County, Livable Neighborhoods, DeGoler Pharmacy, Hen House, Walgreens, Bonds Pharmacy, and CVS Pharmacy.
Leaving old medicines in cabinets poses a threat for other persons who may misuse them, according to officials. Also, flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash may create safety hazards to the environment.
The disposal effort April 27 also has the support of U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, who today called on Kansans to join the fight against prescription drug abuse.
“There’s good news and bad news in our fight against prescription drug abuse in Kansas,” Grissom said. “The bad news is that funding for the state’s prescription monitoring program remains uncertain. The good news is that Saturday, April 27, is national Drug Take Back Day.”
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Drug Take Back Day, more than 60 law enforcement agencies around Kansas will be accepting unused prescription drugs for safe disposal.
“Kansans need to clean out their medicine cabinets to help prevent prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands,” Grissom said. “Prescription drug abuse continues to be our nation’s fastest growing drug problem. Prescription painkillers cause more overdose deaths each year than heroin and cocaine combined.”
“National data shows that as many as 16 million Americans age 12 or older have abused controlled prescription medications including pain relievers, tranquilizers, sedatives and stimulants,” Grissom said.
Grissom said he is concerned that grant funding is running out this year for K-TRACS, the state’s prescription drug monitoring program. K-Tracs provides prescribers and dispensers with information on patients receiving controlled substances. It is designed to help prevent and detect the diversion of controlled substances.
“K-TRACS is a critical tool for doctors, pharmacists and law enforcement agencies,” Grissom said. “I am very concerned that its future funding is in doubt.”
K-TRACS was set up by the Kansas Board of Pharmacy with the help of a grant from the Department of Justice. It began collecting data from dispensers in February 2011. In April 2011 it began offering dispensers and prescribers the ability to query the system for information that could indicate controlled substances were being abused and diverted.
K-TRACS recently reported to the Kansas Legislature, for instance, that an Olathe woman had received 46 prescriptions from 36 different physicians from Oct. 1 to Dec. 3, 2012.
Staff at the Kansas Board of Pharmacy have identified various ways to raise the roughly $180,000 to $300,000 a year it takes to operate K-TRACS from user fees or other methods.
“I won’t try to tell the Kansas lawmakers what method of funding they ought to adopt,” Grissom said. “But I do want to want to say that I see K-TRACS as an essential tool in the fight against prescription drug abuse in this state.”