Food City has partnered with Operation UNITE to collect and safely dispose of unwanted or unused medications on Saturday, April 27 – National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Six Food City Pharmacy locations in five counties will accept medications from residents between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is no charge for this service.

UNITE Coalition members, along with law enforcement officials, will staff drop-off locations at Food City stores located at:

  • 330 North Mayo Trail, Paintsville (Johnson County)
  • 2138 South Mayo Trail, Pikeville (Pike County)
  • 28093 Thompson Plaza, South Williamson (Pike County)
  • 102 North 12th Street, Middlesboro (Bell County)
  • 2478 South U.S. Highway 421, Harlan (Harlan County)
  • 429 University Drive, Prestonsburg (Floyd County)

In addition, all Kentucky State Police Posts will serve as drop-off locations. In this region KSP Posts are located in Ashland (Post 14), Harlan (Post 10), Hazard (Post 13), London (Post 11), Morehead (Post 8), Pikeville (Post 9) and Richmond (Post 7).

All medication turned in at Food City or other locations will be turned over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for disposal.

If you are unable to attend Saturday’s event, and still wish to safely dispose of your medications, Operation UNITE and other agencies have placed permanent medication drop boxes in most southern and eastern Kentucky counties. A list of locations is available on the UNITE website. View list of locations.

Since October 1, 2012, UNITE has collected 502 pounds of medications from these drop boxes. In the previous two years, UNITE collected and destroyed 1,024,932 pills through take-back days held across the region.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medications, mostly prescription drugs, were involved in nearly 60 percent of the 38,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2010, overshadowing those from illicit narcotics.

“A vast majority of teens trying prescription drugs for the first time get them from the family medicine cabinet or from a friend’s home,” said Dan Smoot, vice president of UNITE. “Having unused medications sitting around the home is an invitation to trouble.”

In 2011, more than 4,500 young people a day abused prescription drugs for the first time, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

“Teens believe that just because drugs are prescribed they are safe, but that is true only when taken according to directions and only by the person to whom the drugs were prescribed,” Smoot said. “Aside from the fact that taking or giving away medicine that is not prescribed to you is illegal, even at small doses the potential exists for serious health effects – including death.”

For years, the generally accepted method for disposing of old or left over medications was to flush it down the toilet. This practice, however, has been strongly discouraged because of concerns about potential health and environmental effects of antibiotics, hormones, painkillers, depressants and stimulants making their way into our water system and soil.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back events were initiated by the DEA two years ago to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications.

The DEA, in conjunction with state and local partners, has removed more than 2 million pounds of prescription medications from circulation in five previous take-back events.

Learn more at 1-800-882-9539 or visit the DEA Take-Back Day website.