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.
Sssnake season is here

Those walking in their yards, at the park or on a desert hike need to be aware that snake season has begun.

Colon cancer screenings crucial for adults

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and women and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seven in 10 adults in the U.S. aged 50-75 are up to date with colorectal cancer screening; however, in 2021, the CDC lowered the recommended age for colorectal cancer screening for adults to begin at age 45.

Get to know your thyroid, its function

Did you know that one in 20 people has some kind of thyroid disorder?

Winter brings threat of virus convergence

Our local temperatures may seem mild, but we are facing some colder days and with that comes a winter chill — and sneezing, coughing, sore throat and more.

‘Spoof’ call temporarily locksdown high school

Boulder City High School was placed on a brief lockdown this morning after Boulder City Police dispatch received a “spoofed” all at 9:09 a.m. from someone claiming to be a teacher supposedly hiding from a gunman in the school, according to a city official.

Police investigate Thanksgiving shooting

Police responded to a call of shots fired at 10:48 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, in the 1000 block of Boulder City Parkway, said Lisa LaPlante, communications manager.