Abuse of prescription medications is a problem in communities all over America. Unused or expired prescription medications have become a real safety issue as they are leading to accidental poisonings, overdoses, and abuse. The non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in the country.
The Marana Police Department and their community partners are trying to do something about it. Since 2010 they have held Dispose-A-Med programs to try and get expired and unused prescription medications off the street and properly disposed of. To date the program has been a huge success.
Since the program’s inception they have collected over 4,100 pounds of medication. Since the start of 2017 they have already properly disposed of 642 pounds.
The events are held once a month at the Target at 3901 W. Ina Rod. The events are from 10 a.m. – noon. This month’s event is Saturday, August 12.
At these events residents are able to safely dispose of any unused or expired prescription medications. Prescription and over-the-counter tablets and capsules will be collected, as well as liquids, creams, veterinary medications, vitamins, and needles.
“We can collect almost anything,” said Marana Police Department Volunteer Thomas Cox, who assists with the program.
The only limitation is that they cannot accept drugs from commercial organizations.
Unused prescription drugs that are not disposed of safely can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold, while unused drugs that are flushed down the toilet can contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.
The Marana Police Department partners with the Marana Health Center, Marana-Foothills Optimist Club, and the Marana Prevention Alliance to put on these monthly events.
They do caution that for safety and confidentiality reasons, any items turned over for collection cannot be returned. They cannot accept drugs from commercial organizations. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
For more information contact Officer David Danielson at the Marana Community Resource Unit at 520-382-2051 or 520-382-2055.