(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s third Drug Dropoff Day – held recently in Trumbull and Mahoning counties – yielded 298 pounds of unused or expired prescription medications, ensuring that these drugs can do no harm to Ohioans or the environment.
“There’s no better way to reduce the risk of medications ending up in the wrong hands – or, potentially, in the water supply,” Yost said. “It’s not environmentally friendly to flush unused prescriptions down the drain or toss them in the trash, which is why we value our partners in helping promote proper storage.”
Combined, the AG’s three dropoff days – all of them held within the past 13 months – have properly disposed of over 1,400 pounds of drugs. The Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office, the Youngstown Police Department, WFMJ-TV and Ohio Sea Grant joined the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) in sponsoring the event.
As with previous Drug Dropoff Days, the location of the recent event was guided by Yost’s Scientific Committee on Opioid Prevention and Education (SCOPE), which has identified the counties accounting for the state’s highest rates of opioid deaths. Trumbull ranks sixth and Mahoning 10th.
Yost’s partnership with Ohio Sea Grant, a Great Lakes research program based at Ohio State University, aims to draw attention to the threat of discarded drugs getting into groundwater and lakes, rivers and streams. Traces of pharmaceuticals have been detected in drinking water, and continuous exposure to low levels of the contaminants can harm aquatic life.
“We know there are impacts,” said Chris Winslow, director of Ohio Sea Grant. “The beautiful part about the work that’s happening through the AG’s office and the state is they’re protecting our environment. Some of our landfills leach, meaning pharmaceutical pollution can leak into groundwater. And if it gets in the groundwater, it’s a risk to organisms and human health.”
Here is a breakdown of the drugs collected:
- Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office in Warren: 112 pounds of drugs and 20 pounds of medical sharps, such as needles and syringes.
- Fire Station No. 9 in Youngstown: 166 pounds of drugs.
The AG’s two previous Drug Dropoff Days – held on July 31, 2021, at two sites each in Franklin, Fayette and Scioto counties, and on Jan. 22, 2022, at two sites in Clark County and one site in Montgomery County – yielded more than 1,100 pounds of medications.
The attorney general urged Ohioans to watch their local news to learn about the next dropoff date and locations.
Anyone who missed out on the event Saturday can dispose of unwanted prescriptions by contacting local law enforcement. To make sure that you are practicing safe storage, see the guidelines highlighted here.