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Parkland hosts Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

BY IRVING WEEKLY STAFF

Irving, Texas. October 18, 2017

Expired, unused and unwanted medications in our homes can end up in the wrong hands causing poisonings and other health problems. In an effort to prevent such accidents and improper disposal of these substances, Parkland Health & Hospital System and the Dallas County Hospital District Police Department are joining to take part in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. 

The event will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Simmons Ambulatory Surgery Center, 4900 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas 75235. The event is free and open to the public. During a drug take-back day hosted earlier this year Parkland received 43 lbs. of medications, and Dallas County received a combined total of 5,281 lbs. from different sites across the county.

Household items like batteries, writing utensils, ink cartridges and hardback books will also be collected at the event. “Sometimes it can be difficult or inconvenient to find a place to recycle these items. We want to offer an option to the community so they can properly divert these types of waste from the landfill,” said Miranda Skaaning, Parkland Sustainability Coordinator.

There are numerous reasons to drop off medications and recyclables at this event, including:

• Unwanted medications can be tempting to children and pets and can result in unintentional poisonings.
• Expired medications are often ineffective because they have been kept past their expiration date or improperly stored.
• Unused medications can make your home a target for theft by drug abusers.
• Improper use of medications, such as antibiotics, can contribute to drug-resistant bacteria.
• Batteries contain heavy metals which are harmful to humans and the environment. 
In addition to the unintentional poisoning danger, there is also an environmental issue. When drugs are flushed down drains or placed into trashcans they can harm waterways and landfills, Skaaning said.

“Contaminants from the prescription drugs can leach into soil and water and affect the health of not only humans, but other species, which can then impact people.” 

Skaaning emphasized that during the event individuals can drive into the parking lot and hand the medications to a law enforcement officer, no questions asked. No intravenous materials, such as solutions or syringes, will be accepted at the event.

For more information about the proper way to dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medication, contact the poison experts at the North Texas Poison Center, 1-800-222-1222 or by visiting www.poisoncontrol.org.


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