weather icon Clear

Event helps residents dispose of unused medications

Rose Ann Miele, coordinator for Boulder City’s chapter of the Nevada Community Prevention Coalition, sat in the heat outside of the town’s police station Friday morning waiting to help those looking to turn in their prescription drugs.

Her effort was part of NCPC’s Drug Take Back Day, where the county’s coalition chapters helped local residents properly dispose of medications they no longer needed.

Miele said only four people came to the police station to turn in pills during last year’s event, but this year was different. After the first hour was finished, seven people had already stopped by the police station to turn in their pills.

The majority of them were senior citizens, some of whom came in with zippered storage bags full of prescription drugs. Miele said about half of the people she spoke with didn’t know there was a place in town where people could dispose of their unwanted pharmaceuticals.

That was one of the day’s objectives, she said, informing the public that the place to get rid of pills is the yellow box inside of the police station’s lobby.

Miele said they surpassed their goal for the day, more than doubling last year’s effort and completely filling the box at the police station.

The day’s other objective, she said, was simply getting the prescription drugs out of the house.

“If you believe that any medication that a health care provider prescribes is 100 percent safe, your attitude is, “Why in the world would I want to drop off my drugs at a police station?’ ” Miele asked.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 44 people overdose every day on prescription drugs. Since 1999, the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has quadrupled.

Boulder City is no stranger to substance abuse. Through various donations, Judge Victor Miller has helped to lead a drug court that assists substance abusers through counseling and rehabilitation.

The Breaking the Cycle program, as it is know, began in August, and typically has about five participants at any given time, Miller said. Throughout the yearlong treatment, participants are drug tested twice a week. Every participant starts on a house arrest program, and all of them must wear GPS bracelets.

Miele said one of the most pivotal points in correcting a problem is acknowledging that there is one.

“You have to be made aware of problem situations. If you don’t know a problem exists, how can you help to solve it?” she asked. “There is absolutely nothing wrong with knowing about problems that you can help change. But you’ve got to know about them first.”

An additional message she tried to convey was the hit the environment takes when prescription drugs are flushed down the toilet.

“You don’t throw paint in the water, and you don’t throw oil in the water. They’re like any other substance that can pollute the water,” she said. “That’s the last thing we want.”

Bronson Mack, spokesman for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, emphasized the importance of not flushing prescription drugs down the toilet in order to maintain the quality of the area’s water.

“Disposal of medication via flushing is a contributor toward the pollution of water systems,” he said. “All of the compounds that are used in the manufacturing of medications aren’t fully removed. Those compounds can find their way into the water.”

Though Drug Take Back Day was just that, one day, Miele said it will take a communitywide effort over the long run to fully correct the problem.

“If it’s wrong, let’s work on changing it,” she said. “You’re not going to think about changing it if you don’t think it’s an issue. That’s where your attitude comes in.”

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @StevenSlivka.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Fall cleaning good for the mind, home

Now that temperatures have dropped and we begin pulling out a sweater or two, it’s time to tackle spring cleaning in the fall. If you’ve never tried it, don’t despair; it’s good for the mind and your overall health, and will help you ease into the holiday season — well, easier.

Fibromyalgia may be to blame for aches, tiredness

The stress and trauma from the coronavirus pandemic over the past 18 months have taken a toll on our mental and physical well-being. If you’re tired all the time, more irritable, experience sleep problems, anxiety and depression issues, and bouts or constant pain, then a conversation with your health care provider may be in order.

Flash flood watch issued

A flash flood watch for the area has been issued by the National Weather Service. It begins Friday afternoon and continues through Sunday morning.

Mask up; new directive for indoors spaces starts Friday

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak imposed a new mandate Tuesday, July 27, that requires everyone, vaccinated or not, to wear masks indoors in public places in counties with high rates of COVID-19 transmission, including Clark County.

Be safe when using fireworks

Many people like to celebrate Independence Day with a bang and as residents’ thoughts start turning to fireworks, local fire officials are issuing a word of caution about their use.

First responders recognized

Outstanding service to the community by Boulder City’s firefighters, police officers and volunteers was recognized Friday, June 25, during the first joint awards ceremony held by the fire and police departments.

To Your Health: Men need to be proactive about their health

According to a survey conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, 40 percent of men only go to the doctor when they have a serious health issue; and 57 percent prefer to keep their health concerns to themselves and are not apt to share or discuss their health concerns with anyone, not even their spouses or significant other, or even their physician.

Man dead after Memorial Day shooting

A Boulder City resident is dead after a shooting on Memorial Day.

Excessive heat warning issued

The National Weather Service office in Las Vegas has issued an excessive heat warning for the area starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday and continuing through 9 p.m. Friday.