Prescription Drug Round-Up was a SUCCESS!

Saturday, October 29th was an amazing day for the Pharmaceutical Round-Up collection effort! Over 927 pounds of unused or unwanted pharmaceuticals were collected in a 5-hour period. This is a 640% increase over the April 30, 2011 Take-Back event (125 pounds)! WOW!!!  It was an overwhelming success with a majority of people commenting on how important this effort is and should be maintained on a regular basis!

The postive results are a combined effort of everyone working together; NW Florida Pharmacutical Waste Coalition, local law enforcement (ECSO/PPD), and the local media, which created an enormous amount of  event awareness. We were able to target TV and radio interviews, appearances on ECSO and PPD's Blab-TV Shows, extensive newspaper coverage, Neighborhood Watch Programs, ECUA/ECSO/PPD website exposure, Emerald Coastkeeper media sites, CVS Pharmacy, and a total awareness effort on everyone's part.

The Oct. 29 event featured eight "Take-Back" locations with deputies and officers from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and Pensacola Police Department participating in the effort.

CVS/Pharmacy donated $5 gift cards to those turning-in outdated and un-needed pharmaceuticals.

Pharmaceuticals are being discovered throughout the nation’s waterways at very low concentrations. 

While the sources of these pharmaceuticals may be numerous, the Environmental Protection Agency has been studying unused pharmaceutical disposal practices.

This study was prompted by the concern that potentially large amounts of pharmaceuticals are being flushed or improperly disposed of down the drain, ultimately ending up in rivers, streams and coastal waters. Every year, millions of Americans flush their leftover and/or expired medications down the drain. However what they do not realize is that most wastewater treatment facilities are not designed or equipped to remove pharmaceutical compounds. These pharmaceuticals affect beneficial bacteria in wastewater, may disrupt the sewage and wastewater treatment process, and not to mention the possible health risks to aquatic species and humans caused by long term exposure to small quantities in drinking water.

Another common outlet to disposal of unwanted/ unviable medications is to throw them in the trash, yet this can still reach the environment through leachate from landfills. 

The pharmaceuticals collected through these events are destroyed in a controlled and safe manner. This event is part of a program working to provide more frequent opportunities, and hopefully in the future, sites for continual safe and proper disposal of pharmaceuticals. 

 Thanks to everyone who participated!

 

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