Recent attention to nursing homes discarding prescription drugs in dumpsters prompted Utah Senator Karen Mayne and Representative Stewart E. Barlow to propose and sponsor Senate Bill 85, which amended proper methods for healthcare facilities to dispose of controlled substances, specifically, prescription drugs. Improper disposal provides individuals struggling with drug addiction easier access to controlled substances, resulting in higher instances of continued addiction, overdose, and death. SB 85 requires healthcare facilities to maintain certain protocol in proper disposal of controlled substances and over the counter medications. While this bill pertains primarily to nursing home facilities, it highlights the need for individual residents to also properly dispose of medications found in their own homes. According to Weber Human Services, many teens or other individuals who have a substance abuse problem can easily obtain prescription drugs from simply visiting their family’s or friend’s medicine cabinets, providing a convenient, although unintended supply. In addition, prescription or over the counter drugs that are simply thrown away in the garbage cans can be retrieved by others and sold or used for inappropriate consumption. Medications that are flushed may find their way back into our waterways and affect our rivers, lakes, streams, and drinking water.
However, most homes have leftover prescription and over the counter medications that require disposal. To better ensure proper disposal, Weber Human Service Prevention and the DEA National Take Back organizations, partnered with Ridley’s Market and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department, are sponsoring a Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet event on April 28th. Residents can bring all unused or unwanted medications to Ridley’s Market on the day of the event between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. A table will be set up outside of the store and local volunteers and members of the sheriff’s department will be present to take possession of all unwanted medications. No special preparation is required. Medicines can be brought down in whatever container they are in or in any form. All medications will be accepted except needles. The event is free to all residents or individuals wanting to properly dispose of medications, prescriptions, or other controlled substances.
The Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet event is sponsored biannually. Another event will be held in October. In addition, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office has a permanent drop off location located inside the courthouse next to the courtroom doors where medications can be disposed of year round. Weber Human Services Prevention wishes to extend a special thank you to Ridley’s Market, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department, and all local volunteers for their willingness to host and run this event.