Mainers are Disposing their Drugs
When a doctor prescribes medication sometimes the patient doesn’t end up taking every dose. So what happens to the unused meds? Some end up being sold on the street according to law enforcement officials. And years ago it used to be the norm to throw away or flush down the toilet what was left in the bottle, but not anymore. Last year Maine unveiled a program to dispose unused prescription medications properly. 9-thousand prepaid envelopes were distributed through the program, which was funded through a grant that the Maine Center on Aging helped land. State Drug Enforcement Agency Director Roy McKinney says 3-thousand envelopes have been returned with more than 13-hundred pounds of prescription pills and fluids. All are sent to an undisclosed location where his agents pick them up. Recently pharmacists were at the department of public safety sorting through the drugs, which will be destroyed and/or disposed of properly.Maine is the first state in the country to use the U.S. Postal Service to send controlled and uncontrolled drugs to a secure location so law enforcement can have them disposed of properly. The program has been a partnership through the University of Maine’s Center on Aging, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Postal Service and Maine DEP. Recently, the Maine Legislature approved funding for the next two years for the program. $150,000 will be provided from the fund for a healthy Maine. 20-thousand envelopes have been sent to pharmacies and police departments across the state and are free to the public.