CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County officials are encouraging residents to take action and "Take Back Your Meds," in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day initiative.
There are likely millions of bottles of unused medications sitting in drug cabinets and cupboards of homes across Ohio. To help people get rid of them, the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board along with local police precincts were distributing free drug deactivation and disposal bags Saturday.
The ADAMHS Board is also encouraging people to drop off their unused or unwanted medications at disposal sites that are available at select police departments and sheriff's offices throughout northeast Ohio.
Cuyahoga County currently has over 40 Rx Drug Drop Boxes located at law enforcement agencies.
Those participating in Saturday's efforts said unused drugs are believed to create an opportunity for misuse and abuse and it's important to dispose of them responsibly.
"You want to get them out of the house if you are no longer using them, if the prescription is old or expired, so that nobody else can misuse them. We know that people will often, teenagers will for example, will just try medicine that's in a parent's cabinet so if parents can get it out then there's no option for a teen to try it," said Beth Zietlow-DeJesus, Director of External Affairs.
Saturday was the 17th Drug Take Back Day in the past nine years.
Nationally this initiative has helped remove almost 11 million pounds of unused, unwanted drugs from homes.