Lakeview Pharmacy is offering a drug take back program to help patients safely dispose of medicines that may be dangerous to others and to the environment. The program came about because of news about pharmaceuticals contaminating the water supply, and teenage abuse of prescription drugs.
“As members of the community, pharmacists are in a prime position to ensure the safe and proper handling of medications, from dispensing to disposal,” said Pete Ciaramita co-owner of Lakeview Pharmacy. “Unused or expired medications pose risks to our families, communities, and the environment." Pharmacists will talk to anyone about their prescriptions and how to store, use and dispose of them, he said.
The Office of National Drug Control has found that prescription drugs are the drug of choice among 12- and 13-year olds, while a third of all new abusers of prescription drugs were between the ages of 12 and 17. Though the amount of drugs in drinking water may be negligible, more and more consumers are disposing of unused medicines by flushing them down the drain, adding pharmaceutical pollution to our waters. Medicines thrown in the trash can end up in landfills if not first picked up by children, pets, sanitation employees, or anyone who rummages through trash.
Ciaramita is a member of the National Community Pharmacists Association which in April launched a drug disposal program to protect people and the environment. The organization represents more than 23,000 community pharmacies that dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines.