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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

April 26, 2022

Help Promote Safe Disposal of Pharmaceuticals and Used Sharps

Submitted by Abigail Crouse

K-State’s Pollution Prevention Institute (PPI) encourages you to participate in National Drug Take Back Day on April 30. Local agencies are partnering with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to prevent medication misuse, opioid addiction, and environmental contamination by ridding homes of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Prescription drug abuse and disposal are both a public and environmental health threat. In 2017, the Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that drug overdose death rates in rural areas were surpassing those in urban areas, and improper disposal of medications via sewers or landfills was leading to surface water contamination.

Returning unused or unwanted medications to a pharmacy, or bringing them to a law enforcement agency are the best methods for keeping these substances from entering the water supply.

PPI has been funded by the USDA to work with rural counties to promote safe disposal of expired, or excess pharmaceuticals and used sharps. Year-round pharmaceutical drop-off (https://apps2.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch), and sharps disposal locations (https://safeneedledisposal.org/state-search), have been pinpointed throughout the specific target area for the project, which includes the following Kansas counties: Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Brown, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Coffey, Doniphan, Elk, Greenwood, Labette, Montgomery, Wilson, and Woodson.

PPI is looking for ways to spread the word about safe drug and sharps disposal in these rural communities. To schedule a speaker, or training session on this topic for your group, or to help distribute educational material, email Abigail Crouse at acrouse@k-state.edu, or call 800-578-8898.

For more information about the project, visit https://www.sbeap.org/safe-disposal.