After my surgery last year, I had a nearly full bottle of Oxycodone left over. I had taken three pills out of thirty and did not want an opioid drug in my home where my kids and their friends could find it. Opioids and other prescription medications are often a temptation for risk-taking teenagers. Three out of four heroin users began by using legal prescription medications, after all.
I had trouble finding a safe place to dispose of it, however. I didn’t want to throw it in the trash, or flush it down the toilet, where it could eventually end up in our water supply. The pharmacy didn’t want it back. The hospital wouldn’t take it. So instead, I stored it in a locked box and waited for a Take Back Day.
Howard County’s next drug Take Back Day will be on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. I’ll be dropping off more unwanted/expired meds (over-the-counter and prescription) at HC DrugFree’s Wilde Lake Village Center collection site the 30th. HC DrugFree offers a convenient drive-thru collection site so I won’t have to get out of my car unless I want to volunteer for a few hours (and I might because they seem to have a lot of fun and I’d like an HC DrugFree Mind Your Meds t-shirt!). HC DrugFree’s event is one of many national medication collection events going on around the country. They’re held twice a year, with the goal of collecting unwanted or expired medications in order to minimize the risk that those medications will be misused. Even “sharps” (needles, syringes and EpiPens) will be accepted. In the past few years, the Howard County Police and HC DrugFree collected more than 3,000 pounds of medication in Howard County alone—an amazing amount. However, there’s still a lot more that we, our neighbors, relatives, and friends have stashed in their drawers and cupboards. Please help us get the word out that Take Back Day is next Saturday, and make it that much less likely that someone will put themselves at risk by taking someone else’s medication!