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Catholic Health participates in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

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Tue, Oct 16th 2018 07:00 am
Drop-off sites in Erie & Niagara counties
As part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Catholic Health is hosting drive-up drop-off sites in Erie and Niagara counties to help get unused and unwanted medications out of people's homes. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.
Catholic Health drop-off sites include Kenmore Mercy Hospital (2950 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore); Mercy Ambulatory Care Center (3669 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park); Mount St. Mary's Hospital (5300 Military Road, Lewiston); and Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus (2605 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga). Unwanted and expired medications will be accepted, as well as syringes and needles. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. 
By participating in the DEA take-back programs, Catholic Health is helping get drugs off the streets and out of homes. Prescription drugs are a common cause of accidental poisonings in children and should not be kept around if they're no longer needed. Leftover prescription opioid painkillers, in particular, pose a risk for addiction and overdoses. 
"Since 1999, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled," said James Bartlett, lead pharmacist at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. "Every day, 115 Americans die from an opioid-related overdose. That's more than the number of people killed in car accidents or by guns. Cleaning out old prescription and over-the-counter drugs from your home reduces accidents, thefts, and the misuse and abuse of medicines."
The last Take-Back Day brought in almost 1 million pounds of unused or expired prescription medication nationally. This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 9,964,714 pounds, or 4,982 tons.
In addition, people are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines - flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash - may have negative environmental impacts. In between drop-off events, medications may be taken to a community disposal kiosk. To find one, visit www2.erie.gov/health/sites/www2.erie.gov.health/files/uploads/pdfs/ESAPDualSites.pdf.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Oct. 27 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com.

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