Upstate News

March 15, 2010
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Drug Disposal Day is March 20

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Upstate New York Poison Center, the Prevention Network and Walgreens will host a Drug Disposal Day Saturday, March 20, from 9 a.m. to noon at Walgreens, 2329 James St., Syracuse.

During the event, Onondaga County residents will be able to get rid of their unwanted or expired medications, including over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs and controlled substances. Glass containers, vials, mercury or syringes will not be accepted.

Officials say that pharmaceuticals have been identified as “emerging contaminants” and if not disposed of properly can pollute lakes, rivers, streams and other sources of drinking water. Trace levels of pharmaceuticals have been found in some of the nation’s drinking water supply, according to a 2009 Associated Press investigation.

Perhaps the most identifiable source of this contamination is the practice of flushing medications down the toilet. “Disposing of unwanted or expired medication can prevent unintentional poisonings,” said Lee Livermore of the Upstate New York Poison Center. “But we must make sure that we dispose of these medications properly. This Drug Disposal Event enables one to discard these medications without harming the environment and without increasing the possibility that they will be consumed by humans or animals.”

The medications collected at the Drug Disposal Day will be discarded in accordance with federal and state guidelines.

The Upstate New York Poison Center serves 34 counties in New York and handles more than 50,000 calls annually. The Poison Center is a service of Upstate Medical University. “

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