What should you do with your unused, unwanted, or expired medications?  Take them to your local pharmacy for proper disposal.  Moser’s U-Save Pharmacy has recently joined the list of pharmacies in Nebraska City accepting medications; Walgreens is also able to collect these unwanted medications and make sure they are disposed of safely.  To find other participating pharmacies go to www.nebraskameds.org.

Why is this so important? 

A nationwide study released in 2002 by the United States Geological Survey detailed trace levels of prescription drugs found in 80 percent of the waterways across the country.  The breakthrough study checked for the presence of materials such as pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, sterols, hormones, and other chemical compounds.  Groundwater and seven streams in Nebraska were included in the study.  Pharmaceutical chemicals can enter the environment contaminating surface and groundwater by several means.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, each year in the United States more than 71,000 children age 18 and younger are seen in emergency rooms for unintentional overdoses of prescription and over-the-counter medications.  Additionally, among young people ages 12-17, prescription medications have become the second most abused substance, behind marijuana. 

Let’s make a difference by taking these unused, unwanted, expired medications out of the environment. By returning these medications to participating pharmacies, you can help protect your children, grandchildren and the environment. 

This project is being offered to the state of Nebraska by a statewide coalition of partners and with funding from Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality Waste Reduction and Recycling Grants Program and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.  The program is currently seeking to secure funding from the State to continue providing this service to communities throughout Nebraska.  This is just one issue before the state unicameral, for more information contact your local senator or coalition.

The Nebraska Medication Education on Disposal Strategies (MEDS) coalition consists of the Nebraska Pharmacists Association, the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, The Nebraska Regional Poison Center, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, WasteCap Nebraska, and The Groundwater Foundation.  The mission of the Nebraska MEDS Coalition is to educate Nebraskans about drug disposal and provide safe ways to dispose of them in order to better safeguard the environment and protect public health.