MATANUSKA-SUSITNA BOROUGH—Two local communities are joining a nationwide effort encouraging citizens to safely dispose of unwanted or expired medications. Sponsored by Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Alaska State Troopers, Operation Medicine Cabinet coincides with the first-ever U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency national prescription drug take-back day.
Medications can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Fred Meyer parking lot, 1501 East Parks Highway in Wasilla, or Sunshine Community Health Center, 34300 South Talkeetna Spur Road in Talkeetna.
“We’re proud to be part of a national effort to prevent misuse, theft and abuse of medications, and to prevent contamination of our environment from improper disposal,” said Ali Little, project manager for Matanuska-Susitna Borough. “It’s about keeping our community safe.”
Listen to a 60 second radio commercial on Operation Medicine Cabinet via player on upper right.
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs, according to the DEA. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, the DEA reports that many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away—both potential safety and health hazards.
“This effort symbolizes DEA’s commitment to halting the disturbing rise in addiction caused by their misuse and abuse,” said Michele M. Leonhart, acting administrator of the DEA. “Working together with our state and local partners, and a concerned public, we will eliminate a major source of abused prescription drugs, and reduce the hazard they pose to our families and communities in a safe, legal, and environmentally sound way.”
Operation Medicine Cabinet is free and anonymous. The collection site will be supervised by Capt. Dennis Casanovas, with Alaska State Troopers. Immediately following the event, the medications will be taken off site, weighed, and incinerated.
To protect privacy, participants are asked to remove or black out personal information on medication bottles. For more information on Operation Medicine Cabinet call (907) 745-9557 or go to www.OperationMedicineCabinet.org
Photo of first Operation Medicine Cabinet in MAT-SU and its supporters.
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