Are there outdated or unused pharmaceuticals in your home? Now is the time to safely dispose of these substances. Medicines play an important role in treating many conditions and diseases, but when they are no longer needed, it’s important to dispose of them properly to avoid harm to others. The Community Hospital-Fairfax Auxiliary, in conjunction with the Cities of Fairfax, Rock Port, and Tarkio law enforcement officers and the Atchison County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a county-wide Drug Take-back Event on Saturday, June 3, 2017. There is no charge for this service.
The disposal box will be located outside so individuals can drive by to drop off the unwanted drugs. Labels with names may be removed or blacked out for anonymity, but it is not necessary. The Take Back Event will include any drug, tablet, powder, liquid, gel, or cream.
Collection sites will be open in:
Fairfax: In front of Community Hospital-Fairfax, 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.
Tarkio: Farmers State Bank parking lot – 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Rock Port: Citizens Bank & Trust parking lot – Noon to 1:30 p.m.
There are two major reasons for disposing of these drugs in a safe manner.
1. The pharmaceutical drugs need to be out of our homes in order to prevent misuse or accidental handling. It is estimated that over 9.6 million individuals have abused prescription drugs at least once. According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 2,500 teenagers use prescription drugs to get high every day. Drug-related hospital emergency room visits increased 98.4% from 2004 (2.5 million) to 2009 (4.6 million).
2. These pharmaceuticals need to be disposed in a manner that will keep them out of the environment. Sewage systems are not equipped for PPCP (pharmaceuticals and personal care products) removal. PPCPs are not designed to be destroyed by water treatment processes.
The totals of drugs collected in the past few years are shown in the following chart:
11th National Take Back Day: April, 2016 total weight collected 893,498 pounds (470 ton)
12th National Take Back Day: Oct., 2016 total weight collected 731,269 pounds (365.6 ton)
13th National Take Back Day: April, 2017 total weight collected 900,386 pounds (450 ton)
“These results show that more Americans than ever are taking the important step of cleaning out their medicine cabinets and making homes safe from potential prescription drug abuse or theft,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.  “Unwanted, expired or unused prescription medications are often an unintended catalyst for addiction.  Take-Back events like these raise awareness of the opioid epidemic and offer the public a safe and anonymous way to help prevent substance abuse.