Longmont United Hospital announced today that in an effort to help reduce the dangers associated with unused medications, the hospital, in conjunction with the City of Longmont Water Department and local law enforcement agencies, is hosting an Annual Medication Take-Back event. This free event gives people an opportunity to safely dispose of any unwanted and expired medications including any pet medication and unknown tablets or capsules.

The event will take place on September 26, 2015 from 8 am to 2 pm in the main lobby of the Longmont United Hospital, 1950 Mountain View Avenue in Longmont.  The service is free and anonymous – no questions asked.

Disposing of unwanted prescriptions has never been more important – especially here in Colorado. According to the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse, nearly 224,000 Coloradans misuse prescription drugs each year, and 1 out of 6 of the states 12th graders has taken a prescription drug that was not written for them. Studies have shown that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

In addition, proper medication disposal is extremely important to the quality of water which impacts the environment, animal and human health. Recent studies have shown that 80 percent of the streams in the U.S. contain small amounts of prescription and over the counter medicines that cannot be removed by sewage treatment systems which mean it gets in the fish we eat, the water we drink, as well as on fruits and vegetables that are harvested in our local community.

During the most recent Drug Take-Back event at Longmont United Hospital last April, 1307 pounds of unused medications were collected and 935 households participated. That’s 1.40 pounds of unused medications per household.