Today from 3 pm to 7 pm at the Lowell Health Department, 341 Pine Street (the old Brady/Pine Street School), the city of Lowell Health Department will hold an unwanted medication drop-off event. Take a few minutes to search through your medicine cabinet and elsewhere for prescription (and over-the-counter) medications that have expired or that you no longer need. Simply place them in a zip lock bag after peeling off any labels bearing the patient’s name, and bring them to the Health Department where they will be quickly taken and properly disposed of.
There are many reasons to participated in this effort. Two immediately come to my mind. First, medications either thrown in the trash or poured down the drain inevitably will find their way into the environment where, cumulatively, they pose a long-term hazard to all of us. The second, and perhaps more important reason, is that our community, like the rest of the country, is being racked by the the scourge of the abuse of prescription drugs. You may not realize that a long-ago-prescribed pain killer is sitting in the rear of your medicine cabinet, but the young person in your house, urged on by peers, may be on the lookout for such stuff. Not only are drugs of this type dangerous in their own right when improperly used, they are also a gateway to the use of even more dangerous substances. The mindset that “it can’t happen here” is reckless, no matter what the circumstances, when all it takes to safeguard your home is a 2 minute survey of your medicine cabinet and a quick drive to Pine Street.