From AP - News Headlines -

An Alternative to Flushing Old Medications

A free prescription-drug dropoff program is taking place this week, a year after the first effort brought in an unexpectedly high number of old drugs.

Carle RX Express locations in Champaign-Urbana, Mahomet and Monticello are collecting old, outdated or unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs all this week.

Greg Puszkiewicz is the director of the pharmacies - he says last year the stores accepted 526 pounds of medications and turned them over to the City of Urbana, which is helping sponsor the dropoff.

"The City of Urbana comes and picks it up and takes it to their facility, then the next day the EPA comes and picks it up and they take it to Texas where it's incinerated," Puszkiewicz said.

Puszkiewicz says last year, the first-ever dropoff happened just as news stories appeared about traces of pharmaceuticals found in drinking water supplies. He says that spurred patients to take action and get rid of their old drugs in a safe way, instead of flushing them down the drain or the toilet - in some cases, participants had been holding onto the medications for more than twenty years.

Categories: Community, Environment, Health