FARMINGTON -- A spring cleaning of home medicine cabinets by properly disposing of unused or outdated prescriptions will protect not only the environment but potentially those people prone to abuse the medications.
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at seven different Davis County locations and in Weber and Morgan counties.
The purpose of the activity is to prevent outdated medicine from being flushed down the toilet or made accessible for abuse, said Debi Todd, prevention coordinator for Davis Behavioral Health Inc., one of four local agencies sponsoring the event.
The event is being sponsored nationally by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Area drop-off locations for unused or unwanted medicines will be made available to the public, "no questions asked," at the six Smith's food stores in Davis County and the Hill Air Force Base commissary.
Last September, Americans turned in more than 242,000 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites operated by more than 3,000 of the DEA's state and local law enforcement partners, said Mike Turner, DEA public information officer.
It's important for people to clean out their medicine cabinets, Todd said. The same activity in September 2010 resulted in 645 pounds of unused prescriptions being collected at Davis County drop-off points, she said.
"We're anticipating having more (this year)," Todd said, as the public becomes more aware of the service.
When flushed down the toilet, medications are bad for the environment, Todd said.
In 2010, Weber Morgan Health Department collected 285 pounds of drugs in Weber County and seven pounds in Morgan County, said Lori Buttars, a spokeswoman for the health department.
Many drugs flushed down the toilet cannot be removed by the sewer treatment plant or septic system, allowing those substances to enter into streams, rivers, lakes, groundwater or the soil.
There is also a concern that the availability of outdated or unused prescriptions left in the medicine cabinet can result in abuse of the medication, Todd said.
Drop-off locations are available at the Smith's stores in Bountiful, Farmington, Layton, Syracuse, Sunset and at the Hill Air Force Base commissary.
Other sponsors of the event are Hill Air Force Base, the Department of Environmental Quality and Davis County law-enforcement agencies.
In Weber County, drugs may be disposed of at Weber-Morgan Health Department, 477 23rd St.
In Morgan County, drugs may be taken to Kent Smith Park, 5500 Old Highway Road, Mountain Green.
Those unable to participate in Saturday's activity can visit any one of the 58 permanent community medicine disposal sites in the state.
Those sites can be found at www.useonlyasdirected.org.