National Prescription Drug Take Back Day - New York News

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

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Pharmacist's and pharmacy students from St. John's University collected prescription medications and educated the public on storage and disposal of medications. This event was one of the sites for the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday. 

The pharmacist and students were from the St. John's University's College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions and the event coincides with SJU's Annual Service Day, where over 1500 volunteers will provide service to those in need throughout the city. 

The National Community Pharmacist Association says some $200 million pounds of expired prescription drugs are just collecting dust sitting in medicine cabinets. So what do you do? How do you get rid of them? 

Well, for National Drug Take back Day the pharmacist and students are doing their part. 

At nearly 250 sites in New York State and thousands more across the country -- a safe way for people to get rid of prescription drugs they don't want or need.

Outside the public safety center at St John's student members of Phi Delta Ki, a pharmaceutical fraternity, joined with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to take in the medications. 

"We take medication that's expired or passed its use date. We make sure we get it to the DEA and those who can properly dispose of it," said Michael Maddalena, President of Phi Delta Chi.  

Getting drugs out of the medicine cabinet and properly disposed is not just important for child safety, but also for the environment. 

"It's important to educate the public that flushing it down the toilet doesn't help because it goes into the water and landfills, and it could have severe consequences," said Maximilian Magun, VP of Phi Delta Chi. 

Events like this are becoming more popular and needed officials say as a rise in prescription drug abuse reaches record levels. 

On Long Island, nearly 50 drop-off sites are also available mostly at hospitals and police stations. Programs like this of vital importance organizers say. 

Studies show many adolescents who went on to abuse prescription drugs as adults obtained them originally from a family medicine cabinet.

Sheila Brocavich, Assistant Clinical Professor at St. John's says, "Yes, they are a growing concern – especially among our youth and the most important thing we can do is get rid of them."  

At St. John's they collected nearly 60 pounds worth of old drugs in a few hours adding to the nearly 1.5 million pounds that federal officials have already been able to collect nationwide.

 

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