The collection and disposal of unused controlled substances can be a tricky process under the Controlled Substance Act and Drug Enforcement Agency regulations.
The Worth Police Department, will oversee an effort to take back unused controlled substances, prescription medications and other narcotics from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 25 at their headquarters, 7112 W. 111th Street.
Collecting unused drugs can only be done under strict oversight from law enforcement. Institutions such as hospitals, pharmacies and providers are prohibited from collecting unused medication and the U.S. Postal Service prohibits mailing prescription medication without special approval.
“This is a nationwide program we’ve been doing for a few years here in Worth,” said Worth Mayor Mary Werner. “Our police department sponsors the program and will be collecting unused medication at the police department.”
In a 2007 study conducted by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, an estimated 3 percent, or 2.8 million pounds, of medications went unused by consumers in the U.S and up to 13 percent of controlled medication went unused by patients in long-term care facilities.
In addition, the same group surveyed the community and found that 30 percent of Americans dispose of medication by using the drain. Compare that with the United Kingdom or Canada—both offer take-back programs—in which only 10 percent introduce the hazardous substances into the environment.
According to a study provided to King Pharmaceuticals Inc. several surveys show that nearly half of physicians knowingly undertreated pain in their patients for fear of being investigation and prosecuted by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
“The program is designed to keep unused medication from being flushed down the toilet or the drain and keep harmful substances out of our water supply,” Werner said. “When the unused medication gets flushed and ends up in our water supply it’s not a good thing.”