County collects 862 lbs of medication
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 02:10
The Butler County Coalition hosted Prescription Drug Take Back day Sept. 29 where County residents could drop off their unwanted and unused prescription drugs and other medications. A total of 862 pounds was collected in all of Butler County.
There were eight prescription drug collection sites throughout Butler County. Middletown collected the most drugs with 208 pounds, followed by West Chester, with 206 pounds. Oxford, which has collected 487 pounds during three past drug disposal events, opted out of supplying a drop box location in the fall. The drop box in Ross Township was the nearest location for Oxford residents.
This is the fourth countywide drug take-back effort, and Karen Murray, director of the Butler County Coalition, said it was not clear what the turnout would be.
“We really went into the day not knowing what to expect, but we were pleased with the amount we got back,” Murray said.
Most of the collecting sites were in the lobbies of local police departments in Butler County.
“This is a great effort on local law enforcement’s part,” Murray said. “They’re the ones that make it happen.”
As expected, many of the drugs collected were painkillers and anti-anxiety medications. There was not a large collection of Adderall, a drug used for ADHD treatment, but there was an increase in muscle relaxant collection, Murray said.
Brian Williamson, chief of environmental services at Butler County Health Department, said medications that are not being administered as prescribed should be disposed as a precaution for both undesignated use by other people as well as environmental harm through the public water system.
“It’s good to have them out of situations where they may end up in unintended takers’ hands, and there’s always that potential that you may have a product in a location where you didn’t want it,” Williamson said.
Butler County has been unique in how aggressive the coalition has been with its disposal efforts and reducing accessibility in the community, said Murray.
“Until two and half years ago, we weren’t collecting drugs like this,” Murray said. “I don’t know of any county surrounding us that has as many take-back drug boxes as we have.”
This take-back day is just one way to combat the epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Butler County and Ohio, Murray said.
In a recent survey of Butler County 12th graders, 9.7 percent have used medications that were not prescribed to them, 1.8 percent higher than both the regional and national percentage. In 2010, the per capita dosage of prescription in Ohio was 67 pills.
House Bill 93, legislation passed in Ohio 12 months ago, was designed to decrease the supply of painkillers and had positive results, Murray said.
Murray has a simple three-step solution to eliminating unnecessary prescription medications in your home.
“Secure your medications, monitor them, and then dispose of them,” Murray said.
Junior Jay Macke said he has heard of students taking prescription medications not prescribed to them, such as Adderall, and thinks it can be harmful.
“Especially since drinking is so prevalent on campus, it can be really dangerous for people to take drugs they’re not prescribed,” Macke said.
There are five permanent prescription drug box locations in Fairfield, Middletown, Monroe, Ross Township and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. The Butler County Coalition also anticipates a Trenton and Oxford location.
Macke said he thinks some students would use a prescription drug drop box if one was located on campus.
“I’m not sure if it would prevent [students] from giving it to other people,” Macke said. “It’s definitely just good to have.”