It wasn’t long ago that we were urged to dispose of unused or expired medications down the toilet.
But an investigation spurred on by environmentalists revealed a startling find: the water supply in 24 U.S. cities showed trace amounts of drugs. The drugs were identified as over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, prescription medications for heart disease, anti-seizure, anti-anxiety and even sex hormones.
The amounts in our water systems are small and likely do not affect our health, but it is believed these drugs are affecting wildlife and the ecosystem. These beliefs are yet to be proven, but just the knowledge that some trace amounts of drugs may be found in the water we drink is of some concern.
Law enforcement officials have identified another hazard brought on by storing unused or expired prescription medications.
“Nine out of 10 burglaries we have, they go for the prescription medications in the home,” said Sgt. Mike Caudill of the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.
To address that concern, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office took the lead from the organization Scott Countians Against Drugs (SCAD) to install a bolted metal box at the sheriff’s department on North Hamilton Street. By dropping off unused medications into this box, residents are safely disposing of drugs that could be taken by mistake by children as well as become a target for thieves.
The box was provided by the Bluegrass Prevention Center, which has provided similar boxes in neighboring communities. The Drug Enforcement Agency approved the site.
It is a simple gesture, but the impact on our community is positive. We congratulate all those involved in setting up the prescription drug drop-off box, including the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, SCAD, Bluegrass Prevention Center and the DEA.
And we encourage each and every resident to take a few moments and go through the medicine cabinet. Gather all the unused and expired drugs and take them to the Sheriff’s Office on North Hamilton and dispose of the drugs in this box.
Your home and your community will be safer because of your efforts.