Many Americans are not aware that medicines in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are being obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets.
The Cortland County Drug Disposal Program was created to address this growing concern for unused prescription and over-the-counter medication. When prescription medications are easily available they can be used for purposes other than their original intent, increasing the chances of abuse. Flushing unused medicines down the toilet or crushing them and mixing them with coffee grounds or kitty litter to dispose of them was once the preferred method of disposal. Unfortunately, studies have now found that this method of disposal is not safe for the environment.
The Cortland County Drug Disposal Program offers annual collection events* and permanent disposal kiosks for safe and convenient disposal. Simply gather up your medications, if possible leave them in the original containers and mark out any personal information, and then take them to one of our five convenient kiosk locations.
Most people take prescriptions responsibly under a doctor’s care. However, there has been a steady increase in the nonmedical use of medications, especially by adolescents and young adults. Prescription drug misuse occurs when a person takes a prescription medication that is not prescribed for him/her, or takes it for reasons or in dosages other than prescribed. The non-medical use of prescription medications has increased in the past decade and has surpassed all illicit drugs, except marijuana, in the United States. Misuse of prescription drugs can produce serious health effects, including addiction. Commonly misused prescription medications include those that are intended to relieve pain, aid with sleep or anxiety.