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Operation Medicine Cabinet returns to Libby on Saturday

by The Western News
| September 21, 2010 8:55 PM

Local residents along with those just passing through can take advantage of an opportunity to get rid of expired or unwanted medications on Saturday as part of Operation Medicine Cabinet Montana.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office will offer the service from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., in front of Frank’s Drug in Libby in conjunction with the Montana Department of Justice program as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration’s prescription drug “Take-Back” campaign.

Montana ranks third nationally for teen abuse of prescription pain relievers. Studies and reports have shown that teens agree that prescription drugs are easier to obtain than other illicit drugs, including 63 percent who believe they are easy to get from parents’ medicine chest.

Also, studies have shown that many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

The service is free and anonymous with no questions asked.

An Operation Medicine Cabinet effort back in June yielded more than 1,330 pounds of unused medication.

“These events limit easy access to drugs that are potentially dangerous when misused, and reduce the risk of accidental poisonings, illegal diversion and abuse in our community,” said Steve Bullock, state attorney general.

Participants in the program are encouraged to remove or black-out any personal information on the containers. Items that cannot be accepted include sharps/needles, chemo/radioactive drugs or other non-pharmaceutical waste.

“Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, and take-back events like this one are an indispensable tool for reducing the threat that the diversion and abuse of these drugs pose to public health,” said Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy.

Frank’s Drug is located at 1401 Minnesota Ave., across from Empire Foods.