When Juana Bauman’s mother passed away in July, she was left with
a plethora of medication that was no longer being used and she didn’t
know what to do with it.
But when she stopped by her Acme, where her mother would pick up her medication,
she was given a pamphlet for medication drop-off at Lower Bucks Hospital.
“I thought ‘okay, this is it, this is where I’ve got
to go’,” said Bauman, 61, of Croydon.
Bauman, along with other residents, stopped by the hospital on Saturday
morning for the semiannual Bucks County Medication Take Back program,
which highlights a service that is available to residents throughout the year.
Weintraub said that Bucks County has taken back over 127,000 pounds of
medication since the program began in 2010, making it the most for any
county in the state.
“I don’t like to lose, and our goal is to stay number one and
to have the community support this very worthwhile program,” Weintraub said.
Weintraub also promoted the Up and Away lock box, a combination box that
residents can use to keep their medication away from intruders and family members.
Melanie Swanson, co-chair of the Bucks County Medication Take Back Storage
and Disposal, said that the initiative began in September of 2010 when
they saw alarming rates of teenagers abusing and misusing medications.
“We also saw a connection for teens with misusing prescription drugs
and the heroin epidemic,” Swanson said.
After marijuana and alcohol, prescription and over-the-counter drugs are
the most commonly misused substances by Americans 14 and older, according
to Bucks County Take Back.
Since 2010, the Take Back program’s event takes place twice a year,
but there are permanent medication collection boxes throughout the county,
including the Bristol Township police headquarters, the Bucks County Administration
Building, the Bucks County Justice Center and the St. Mary Medical Center
“We’ve continued to do it twice a year and through data we’ve
actually seen a decrease in youth prescription drug misuse so we are seeing
that number go down,” Swanson said.
As residents entered the hospital lobby with bags of medicine, they were
given educational pamphlets and were told about the percentage of prescription
abuse for teenagers.
Swanson said the point of the program is to not only educate residents
and help the community, but to also help the environment.
“We don’t want the medications going down the toilet. We know
that the filters don’t filter out all the chemicals and we have
found pharmaceutical chemicals in the water supply,” Swanson said.
Swanson said that they have seen an increase in drop-offs since the program
began, and residents like Bauman said she will continue to spread the
word of drop-off locations to her family and friends.
“Knowledge is power,” she said with a pamphlet in her hand
as she walked out of the hospital.
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