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Turn in old medications at CHS fair on Saturday

| April 5, 2010 9:00 PM

The Coeur d'Alene Police Department, the city's Enough is Enough Committee, and Idaho Drug Free Youth are sponsoring a "Prescription Drug Turn-in Day" as part of the Coeur d'Alene School District's Safety Fair on Saturday at the Coeur d'Alene High School commons.

The Prescription Drug Turn-In will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. It's the fourth year for the Safety Fair with numerous other agencies and groups represented, including a free "shred-your-documents" service.

School Resource Officers and School District 271 administrators have reported increased cases of students accessing prescription medications that belong to a family member and selling or abusing them at school.

The risk is that individuals may use medications that are not prescribed for them. Use of outdated medications is equally dangerous. The most common medications sold or distributed are narcotics such as oxycontin and vicodin. Prescription and over-the-counter cold remedies, as well as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, are also passed on to other students.

The purpose of "Prescription Drug Turn-in Day" is to stop the diversion of medications at the "source" and to help citizens dispose of outdated medications or medications that are no longer needed. By disposing of the items safely, it will also help our environment because they won't be flushed into the wastewater system.

"There is growing concern that personal care products and pharmaceuticals can pass through a wastewater treatment plant and end up poisoning aquatic life in our rivers and streams," said Wastewater Superintendent Sid Fredrickson. "We ask our citizens not to flush these products down the drain."

"The Coeur d'Alene School District is happy to partner with the Coeur d'Alene Police Department to provide the opportunity for community members to turn in their unused prescription drugs," said Patty Breuchaud, Safe and Drug Free Schools coordinator. "Unused prescription drugs can be a danger and a temptation to kids of all ages, and this is a great opportunity to protect our children."

Coeur d'Alene Police will be on hand from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to receive and destroy outdated or unused prescription medication. Sharpies will be provided for the public to mark out any personal information on the prescription bottle.

Chief Longo encourages the public to turn in unused prescription medications. For more information, please call 769-2320.

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