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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Drug take back initiative helps ensure proper disposal of unused, expired medicines

By Joycelyn Biggs | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | October 22, 2015


Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany representatives are hosting a drug take back initiative here, which is slated to continue until the end of October. The purpose is to retrieve unused or expired prescriptions, over-the-counter and even pet medications.

The goal is to ensure proper disposal and to remove the possibility of anyone taking the medicine, according to Kim Cleveland, substance abuse program manager, MCLB Albany.

“We are trying to keep these medications out of the water, out of the hands of children and from people who would sell them,” Cleveland said.

She explained when medication is flushed down the toilet or tossed into a sink it is introduced into the water supply system.

That medication is not filtered out even when the most effective filtration systems. The devices may reduce the amount medication, but fail to completely remove the presence, according to Cleveland.

She revealed studies have been completed, which identified the presence of pregnancy pills and antidepressants in drinking water systems.

“One study done in the Potomac (River) revealed some fish had developed male and female characteristics,” Cleveland said. “It does have a negative impact.”

In addition to ingesting the medications through the water supply, Cleveland explained children will often take outdated and unused prescription drugs obtained from the medicine cabinets of friends and family members. Others will continue to take medicine after the expiration date because they have it on hand. She warned these were very dangerous practices.

“Outdated medication can interact differently with other current medications, the quality of the medicine could be degraded or people may even overdose,” Cleveland said. “Why take the chance?”

In an effort to eliminate that chance, she advised there will be several opportunities this month for individuals to drop off expired or unused medications.

The drop-off schedule is as follows:

*  Oct. 23, 1 - 3 p.m. – Marine Corps Exchange
*  Oct. 27, 1 - 3 p.m. and 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.  – Commissary
*  Oct. 28, 1 - 3 p.m. – Naval Branch Health Clinic, Albany
*  Oct. 30, 1 - 3 p.m. – Marine Corps Exchange

For more information, call Cleveland at 229-639-7941.