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Getting rid of old prescription drugs is complicated matter

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Philadelphia City Council wants to help people safely remove unneeded prescription drugs from medicine cabinets. But offering more than occasional collection days is complicated.

Bernie Strain testified Wednesday that his son was suffering from a burn and taking medications when he was offered something to take away his pain.

“The mixture of drugs that were in his system killed our son that night. Timothy Michael Strain, the charming, good-looking athlete was dead,” said his father.

Strain wants to prevent future deaths by setting up sites where people can drop off unnecessary prescription medications. Jeremiah Daily oversees the federal High Intensity Drug Task Force for the Philadelphia area. He said that can be a tall order.

“Right now the current limitations of law, regulations that are in place, make it challenging for the public to dispose of medications in a simple, legal and environmentally responsible manner,” said Daily.

The medications must be incinerated and the closest facility for that is in Ohio. For a police officer to take medications requires about an hour’s worth of paperwork just for one pill bottle.

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