On Saturday, Nov. 12, the American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC) will be held in communities across America to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
Locally, area residents will have an opportunity to drop off their unused, unwanted or expired medications on Nov. 12 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at either of two Columbiana County locations:
- East Liverpool City Hospital's Main Entrance, 425 W. Fifth Street in East Liverpool
- Salem Medical Center (across the street from Salem Community Hospital), 2094 E. State Street in Salem.
How to Participate
- Area residents will remain in their cars and hand off the unwanted medications to local law enforcement officers, who will be the only staff handling the medications. No requests for identification will be asked.
-Last year, the 2010 AMCC event drew 172 participants from the Columbiana County area and resulted in the local collection of 670 pounds of solid, liquid and aerosol medications, and 27 pounds of pill containers.
-Every day, 2,200 youth ages 12 to 17 abuse a pain reliever for the very first time. (Source: SAMHSA-2008 National Survey of Drug Use and Health)
If you cannot participate in the American Medicine Chest Challenge on November 12th, you can dispose of your unwanted medications responsibly by following the guidelines below:
1. DO NOT FLUSH unused medications down the toilet and DO NOT POUR them down a sink or drain.
2. Pour the unused medication into a sealable plastic bag. Add a small amount of water to the bag and mix gently to dissolve the medication if it is in a solid form, such as a pill, liquid or capsule.
3. Add kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds (or another material that mixes with the medication and makes it less appealing for pets and children to eat) to the plastic bag.
4. Seal the plastic bag and put it in the trash.
5. Remove and destroy ALL identifying personal information (prescription label) from all medication containers before recycling them or throwing them away.
- Medication may be kept in its original container or removed from the original container.
- If an original container is disposed, please try to remove any personal identifying information from the prescription label.
- Liquid medications may be dropped off, but make sure the cap is tightly sealed to prevent leakage.
"Prescription drug abuse is the nation's fastest-growing drug problem, and take-back events such as this one are important tools for reducing this public health threat," said Detective Dan Downard, Director, Columbiana County Drug Task Force.
This one-day effort is being organized by the Columbiana County Drug Task Force, and sponsoring organizations include the ADAPT Coalition, Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, Columbiana County Health Department, Family Recovery Center, East Liverpool City Hospital, Salem Community Hospital and Heritage-WTI. These organizations are collaborating on this county-wide event to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from people's medicine chests.
Prescription drugs account for the second most commonly abused category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and other drugs. National studies show that 70 percent of people, who abuse prescription pain relievers, obtained them from friends or relatives.
In addition, more than 6 million Americans used a prescription medication for non-medical purposes in the past 30 days. As alarming, is the fact that, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy between 1997 to 2007, there has been a 400 percent increase in substance abuse treatment admissions for people abusing prescription drugs.
"This event is designed to bring to light the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse and the easy accessibility of these medications within the home," Detective Downard said. "The drop-off is designed to create a way for adults to anonymously, legally, and safely dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine."
Additional information can be found at www.americanmedicinechest.com, or by calling the participating organizations: Columbiana County Drug Task Force (330-424-0309), Columbiana County Health Department (330-424-0272), Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board (330-424-0195), Family Recovery Center (330-424-1468), East Liverpool City Hospital (330-386-2006) or Salem Community Hospital (330-332-7152).