Carson City residents brought in 210 pounds of expired, unused and otherwise unneeded prescription drugs to be incinerated by the federal government during a collection day April 27.
“Visualize a 210-pound man standing there, filled with pills,” said Kathy Bartosz, executive director of Partnership Carson City. “It’s mostly middle aged and senior people” bringing the drugs in. “Sometimes people end up with multiple prescriptions. They end up with a lot of surplus.”
Residents brought the drugs to four Carson City-area grocery stores. Flushing the drugs is not an option; that can contaminate the water supply for humans, animals and fish. Keeping the unneeded drugs is also a no-no, as they can tempt younger people.
“These medicines are misunderstood by young people,” Bartosz said. “It’s not something to play around with recreationally. Some are narcotics. Younger people become addicted easily.”
When the narcotics run out, young people have a few options: pills on the street that are expensive or the opiate cousin, heroin.
“It can happen. Heroin is available,” especially if the unused narcotics are not.
Each year sees an increase in the amount of drugs being dropped off, Bartosz said.
“The message is getting out,” she said, that the drugs, when they no longer are needed, should be properly disposed of. “It keeps it out of kids’ hands.”