(Buffalo, N.Y.) – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) held their 13th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 29.
There were more than 25 drop-off locations across western New York for the public to bring their unwanted prescription drugs. There were 5,000 locations across the country, which were operated by law enforcement and other community groups.
At SUNY Buffalo State there was a steady stream of traffic at the drop-off site on Cleveland Circle.
With recent news emerging about drinking water being contaminated by the flushing of unwanted pills, Buffalo State felt it was important to bring this program to campus.
Dr. Al Delmerico, a health behavior scientist at Buffalo State, appeared on the Buffalo Review TV to discuss the program.
“In general, it’s prescription drugs, pills you would have from wisdom tooth removal, post-surgery, you have those pills lying in your medicine cabinet,” he said. “That’s not the best place for those to be and neither is flushing them down the toilet because that is how they end up in our water stream. So disposal via combustion and incinerator is the best route to dispose them.”
The DEA has hosted the event every six months, but Delmerico believes that two days out of the year isn’t enough to completely get rid of all unwanted drugs. Also when the DEA is brought to the event it is very expensive.
“A better way is to have individuals in the community who have these drugs be able to cleanly dispose of them if they are aware that they are unwanted, not needed, expired or any of the conditions that might warrant them to want to dispose of them. We want people to be able to do that as soon as possible and in a readily available way,” said Delmerico.
He said the DEA take back event is expensive to operate and he and his staff continue to push for a better way to dispose of unwanted drugs.