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Stanford Docs: Turn in Your Old Pills

Keeping expired pharmaceutical drugs is a danger to society, say doctors.

 

Got a ten-year old bottle of Prozac? Now’s your chance to get rid of it, without flushing it down the toilet.

Doctors from Stanford Hospital’s Pain Management Division are urging Menlo Parkers to help prevent pill abuse and theft by getting rid of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The move comes in support of National Take Back Prescriptions Drugs Day, which is Saturday, April 28.

There are numerous “Take Back” sites around the Bay Area and close to Menlo Park.

“Storing unwanted prescription drugs at home or disposing of them in the trash or down the toilet may seem harmless, but the reality is that by doing so you could be putting the health of your family at risk and potentially releasing hazardous chemicals into our environment,” said Sean Mackey, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Pain Management Division at Stanford Hospital and associate professor of anesthesia at Stanford University School of Medicine. “I urge all patients to put safety first by taking their old drugs to their nearest collection site.”

The Take Back sites offer people a no-questions-asked opportunity to dispose of their old drugs. Doing so helps address what Stanford doctors call a vital public safety and health issue.

“Teenagers and young adults are some of the most vulnerable to the dangers of drug abuse”, said Meredith Barad, M.D., a Stanford Pain Management physician. “By taking unused prescription drugs out of the medicine cabinets, we are reducing exposure and thereby reducing the risks of addiction.”

Here are four drop-off sites nearby that will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Jan Whitlinger April 28, 2012 at 02:15 AM
I agree that having a drop-off for old medicines is a valuable aid to public safety. But, it would be even more valuable if the city and/or county made it easier by having more sites available on a regular basis. Once a year isn't very convenient!

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