Lexington police will collect, dispose of unused medicine

event addresses prescription-drug crime and water quality

kward1@herald-leader.comOctober 23, 2011 

Lexington residents can dispose of unwanted medicines safely next Saturday at the city's free Med Toss event.

Lexington police officers will accept medications from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the police roll-call facility at 1165 Centre Parkway, Kentucky American Water at 2300 Richmond Road, the Hamburg Wal-Mart at 2350 Grey Lag Way and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School at 1600 Man o' War Boulevard.

People should keep the medicines in their original containers but mark out personal information on the bottle. Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, liquids and pills will be accepted.

"Med Toss helps us address prescription drug-related crime," Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin said in a news release. "It's not something we have talked about candidly in the past. But I think it's time we talk more about why programs like Med Toss are needed."

He said prescription drug-related crime "is beginning to create just as many issues as the use of illicit drugs like marijuana and crack cocaine."

Cheryl Taylor, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Quality and Public Works, said disposing of medicine properly is also becoming more important as trace amounts of prescription drugs show up in drinking water supplies in some parts of the country.

City officials said people who cannot participate in Med Toss can help prevent medicines from being abused by crushing or adding liquid to pills; mixing the medicine with kitty litter, coffee grounds or other solids; and sealing the waste in a plastic bag before putting it in the trash.

Two previous Med Toss events resulted in the collection of 1,500 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medications, according to the release.

For more information, call LexCall at 311 or visit Lexingtonky.gov/Medtoss.

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