This coming Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, from 10 AM to 2 PM, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will host its 18th National Drug Take Back Day in nine years. The event provides residents the opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted medications.
The service which is free and anonymous helps to prevent misuse and abuse of medications while protecting local water sources. Collected medications are incinerated, which is the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended approach for pharmaceutical disposal. Flushing medications down the toilet and throwing them in the trash are discouraged.
According to reports from the DEA, the last Drug Take Back Day resulted in nearly 469 tons (more than 937,000 pounds) of prescription drugs being turned in at over 11,000 sites. Participating collection sites can be found here - www.DEATakeBack.com.
“It’s important for us to keep these items out of landfills and water supplies as well as the hands of those who may misuse or abuse them. Through these efforts we can help protect what is most precious – our youth and our water,” said Mike Smyth, vice president of operations for Illinois American Water.
According to the DEA, medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. Illinois residents unable to participate Saturday are encouraged to use their community pharmaceutical disposal program to properly dispose of unwanted medications. Through partnership and collaboration with local pharmacies, environmental stewards, police departments and government officials, Illinois American Water has helped to implement over 30 permanent pharmaceutical disposal programs across the state. More information can be found here - https://amwater.com/ilaw/water-quality/pharmaceutical-disposal-information.
The pharmaceutical disposal programs were created through a model developed by Pontiac Township High School students and their teacher Paul Ritter. The program, P2D2, has been recognized as a model for all pharmaceutical disposal programs. Through P2D2’s efforts, millions of pounds of unwanted medications have been collected and disposed of properly. To learn more about P2D2 please visit https://p2d2program.wordpress.com.
About Illinois American Water – Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,100 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to more than 14 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.