Prescription Drug Disposal Program Devours Hundreds of Pounds of Medications - Southern Maryland Headline News

Prescription Drug Disposal Program Devours Hundreds of Pounds of Medications

Public/Private Partnership Promotes Proper Medication Disposal

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (January 28, 2011) – Prescription drug disposal programs developed through a local public/private partnership have ensured the proper disposal of more than 700 pounds of prescription medications in just the first year of operation.

Participating Calvert County pharmacies collected 600 pounds of unused prescription drugs in 2010 while county residents dropped off more than 146 pounds of medications at a Calvert County Sheriff’s Office drop box.

The effort is a response to a rise in prescription medication abuse and news about the presence of pharmaceuticals in water supplies. The proper disposal of unused medications can combat both problems by removing drugs from circulation and offering a safe alternative to simply flushing them down the drain.

A local working group led by the Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse, Inc. (CAASA) has spearheaded the effort. “The first-year results for this program are phenomenal,” said CAASA Coordinator Candice D’Agostino. “Our partnering organizations developed easy, effective ways for residents to dispose of unused medications so they don’t end up in landfills or in the wrong hands. We hope to build on this success and increase awareness so we can combat the rise of illegal prescription drug use along with the presence of pharmaceuticals in the Chesapeake Bay and drinking water sources.”

Two community pharmacies, Chesapeake Pharmacy of Chesapeake Beach and Calvert-Arundel Pharmacy in Owings, are part of Maryland’s “Take-Back” Program and accept the return of non-narcotic prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and supplements. The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office maintains a “24/7” pharmaceuticals drop box at its headquarters on Church Street in Prince Frederick that can be utilized at any time with no questions asked.

County residents may also dispose of unused pharmaceuticals through one of the quarterly household hazardous waste disposal events sponsored by the Calvert County Division of Solid Waste. These one-day events give residents the opportunity to safely dispose of a wide variety of hazardous chemicals and substances, including unused medications. Household hazardous waste disposal events for 2011 are scheduled for March 26 and September 17 at the Mt. Hope Community Center and for June 25 and November 19 at the Appeal Landfill.

For further information, the working group developed a brochure entitled “Prescription Drug Abuse: Proper Disposal Methods” which details the issue of prescription drug abuse, provides guidelines for proper disposal and offers resource information. The brochure is available at local pharmacies, doctors’ offices and in the offices of participating agencies.

The group of local agencies involved in the effort is comprised of CAASA, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office, Calvert County Solid Waste Division, Calvert County Division of Parks and Recreation, Calvert Memorial Hospital, Calvert Substance Abuse Services, Calvert County Commission on Aging, Chesapeake Pharmacy, Calvert-Arundel Pharmacy, Department of Juvenile Services and Maryland State Police, Barrack U.

For more information, contact the Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse, Inc., at 410-535-FREE or visit

Source: Calvert County Government

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