SYRACUSE, N.Y. Kinney Drugs held its first Medicine Collection Day, which resulted in the disposal of hundreds of unused or expired medications.
The event was held June 14 at the Kinney Drugs store in Liverpool, N.Y. Future Medicine Collection Days will be scheduled throughout the Kinney Drugs stores and will be free and open to the public.
“After our pharmacists sort the substances, they will be properly destroyed by law enforcement or disposed of at a federally licensed facility,” explained Michael Duteau, director of pharmacy operations at Kinney Drugs.
In support of the event, Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse observed “Medicine Safety Awareness Day” on June 14.
The proper disposal of medications has increasingly become an issue of environmental and safety concern across the nation. According to a study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 70 percent to 80 percent of substance abusers said they took medications that belonged to a friend or relative. In addition, pharmaceuticals have been found in the drinking water of at least 41 million Americans, according to a March 2008 Associated Press report.
All medication brought to the drop-off had to remain in the original bottle or package with the name of the product clearly visible. However, personal names and addresses could be removed or blocked out.
The company also accepted narcotics for destruction, such as codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin) and morphine. Illegal drugs, biohazardous materials, needles, personal care products and household hazardous wastes like paint or pesticides were not accepted.