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National Day of Awareness and Disposal to Encourage Residents to Safely Dispose Prescription Drugs

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Christopher Harris, (216) 443-7157

CUYAHOGA COUNTY - Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas P. Gilson, along with Cuyahoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney,  recognize November 12, 2016 as National Day of Awareness and Disposal in a continued effort to encourage residents to safely dispose of their unwanted and unused prescription drugs. The American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC), with the support from various law enforcement and community organizations, is challenging residents to participate in this 5-step initiative.

“As we continue efforts to fight the opioid epidemic that is affecting our community, we understand that many suffering from an opioid addiction are first exposed to opioids through prescription drugs.” said County Executive Armond Budish. “On November 12th, and thereafter, we are encouraging residents to evaluate their prescription medications, and safely dispose any unwanted or unused medications in one of the many prescription drug drop boxes throughout Cuyahoga County.”

Residents can promote awareness and participate in 5 simple steps:

  1. Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine and make sure no one has tampered with them.
  2. Secure your medicine. Consider storing your medications out of the reach of children and visitors to your household.
  3. Dispose of your unwanted, unused, and expired medicine at one of the Drug Drop Boxes located throughout Cuyahoga County. Click here to find a Drug Drop Box location near you.
  4. Do not share medicine that has been prescribed to you. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 54.2% of prescription drug users obtain them for free (with or without permission) from friends and relatives.
  5. Talk to your children, family and physician about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

“This is an important measure in dealing with the heroin and fentanyl epidemic. Research has shown that prescription medications often serve as a pathway into illicit drugs,” said Dr. Gilson. “Getting unused medication out of the home reduces the risk of ‘experimentation’ – especially by young people.”

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department provides Drug Drop Boxes to over 42 municipalities across Cuyahoga County. This is a safe and environmentally friendly way residents can dispose of their unused or unwanted prescription drugs.

“The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department has destroyed over 35,000 pounds of prescription drugs since 2013, and we remain committed to prevent prescription drugs from ending up in unintended places,” said Sheriff Pinkney.

For more information about the Drug Drop Box Program, please visit: http://sheriff.cuyahogacounty.us/en-us/RxDrugDropBoxProgram.aspx.