NEWS RELEASE

 

October 13, 2010

For Additional Information:

Robert Simison

(208) 489-0530

 

Meridian Businesses Help Get Word Out on Disposing of

Unwanted Prescription Drugs in Environmentally Sound Way

 

Meridian, ID – (October 13, 2010) – Meridian residents, for the last 12 months, have been able to safely and conveniently dispose of unneeded or expired prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs in an environmentally sound manner at the Meridian Police Department.

 

The Meridian Police and Public Works Departments have teamed up with local businesses to help educate citizens about the availability of this safe, free, and anonymous service. Specifically, that the disposal of unused medications can help:

  • Prevent drug abuse by teens;
  • Reduce accidental child poisoning; and
  • Reduce problematic effects to our water quality and wildlife.

 

Sixteen participating Meridian pharmacies, medical facilities, and veterinary hospitals, are helping get the word out by having information cards titled “Prescriptions for Proper Disposal” available for customers at their point-of-purchase locations. Several local hospice centers and funeral homes will also have this information available to their patrons.

 

One of Meridian’s partners in this education campaign is Primary Health Medical Group. “Our mission is to provide high quality medical care that is convenient and comprehensive to the community; exceeding quality standards for patient care and customer service; and working as a team to assist every patient  in navigating the health care system,” says Kathy Winn, Director of Marketing. “It is entirely within that spirit that we too provide information about convenient and safe drug disposal options to patients receiving prescription services from our medical teams. We’re happy to be a partner with Meridian in helping prevent teen drug abuse and water pollution, as well!

 

Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd praised the involvement by local businesses in this effort. She explains, “This program has been a success since it was launched last year.  With our local businesses as partners in this program, this public outreach will continue the success.  We want to make sure everyone in our community is aware of this program and why the proper disposal of unused prescriptions is so important.”

 

The Meridian Police Department has accepted unwanted medications for more than a year.  Focused on preventing teen drug abuse and child poisoning, they have diverted more than 1,200 pounds of medications to a Drug Enforcement Administration -approved hazardous waste incinerator in Arganite, Utah, for proper disposal.

 

“The facts are sobering,” states Elisha Figueroa, the Meridian Police Department’s Community Services Coordinator. “Every day 2,500 kids aged 12 to 17 try a painkiller for the first time. Through the Mayor’s Anti-Drug Coalition, we strive to educate the community on the current drug trends emerging in Meridian; provide services, programs, events and activities focused on prevention; and foster support within our business and community sectors.”

 

Considered as ‘emerging contaminants’ by the Environmental Protection Agency, pharmaceuticals and personal care products are a group of compounds consisting of human and veterinary drugs (prescription or over the counter) and consumer products, such as fragrance, lotions, sun-screens, house cleaning products, and others. While these trace substances may be detected at very low levels in source waters, people regularly consume or expose themselves to products containing these substances in much higher concentrations through medicines, food and beverage, and other sources.

 

“While many utilize this drop-off service, most citizens don’t know that flushing prescriptions into our sanitary sewer is the least preferred way to dispose of these types of chemicals,” says Mollie Mangerich, Meridian’s Environmental Division Manager. “The best and most cost-effective way to ensure safe water is to encourage programs and policies that protect our water from contaminants introduced by human activity,” concludes Mangerich.    

 

Participating local businesses where information cards titled “Prescriptions for Proper Disposal” are available include:

 

Albertsons: 3 locations

Walgreens: 6 locations

Rite Aid

Walmart

Fred Meyer

Portico

Medicap

Shopko

St Luke’s Hospital

St Alphonsus Urgent Care

All Valley Animal 

Intermountain Pet

Meridian Vet

Settlers Park Vet

Primary Health: 2 locations

Millennium Surgery

 

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The City of Meridian is located at the center of the Treasure Valley in southwest Idaho, minutes from the State Capitol. Founded in 1893 and incorporated as a city in 1903, Meridian is now one of Idaho’s largest and fastest growing communities. As the home to many young families, Meridian is a vibrant community whose mission is to be a premier city to live, work and raise a family and was selected in 2010 by Family Circle Magazine as one of their Top 10 Best Cities for Families, by Money Magazine as one of its 100 Best Places to Live, and by America’s Promise Alliance and ING as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People For more information about Meridian, visit www.meridiancity.org.