Police say: Proper Rx disposal saves lives

From Parkland Staff Reports

Expired, unused and unwanted medications in our homes can possibly end up in the wrong hands and lead to something tragic. To prevent accidents and improper disposal of potentially harmful substances, Parkland Health and the Dallas County Hospital District (DCHD) Police Department are participating in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Colorful pills and capsules, studio shot

The event, which happens twice a year, is a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs, according to Captain Willie Jenkins with the DCHD Police Department.

Parkland will host the take-back from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 30 at its Maple Avenue Garage, 5143 Maple Ave., Dallas 75235. The event is free and open to the public. Community members can drive into the garage lot, hand the medications to a law enforcement officer and drive away with no questions asked.

The October 2021 Take Back Day brought in 744,082 pounds (372 tons) nationwide. This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by the DEA since the fall of 2010 to more than 15.2 million pounds of medication.

“Medicines in the home are a leading cause of accidental poisonings in the U.S., and simply throwing these substances in the trash or flushing them down the drain can result in harm to the environment,” said Lizbeth Petty, MPH, public health education manager with the North Texas Poison Center at Parkland. “That’s why it’s important to clean out medicine cabinets and turn in medications safely.”

Miranda Skaaning, Parkland’s manager of facilities business and sustainability agreed and added, “Proper disposal of medications is important to prevent contamination of our soil and water that could affect the health of not only humans, but other species, which can then impact people.”

For more information about the proper way to dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medications, contact the poison experts at the North Texas Poison Center at Parkland, 1-800-222-1222, or visit poisoncontrol.org. For more information about Parkland, visit parklandhealth.org.