Rx for Action A blog devoted to helping people find local medicine take-back programs and highlighting current research findings and pending legislation. Sun, 15 May 2005 13:02:08 -0500 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/eb258/rss.xml Guest Post: Walgreens Creates New Medicine Take-Back Program https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/eb258/entry_11651/ Thu, 11 Aug 2016 12:00:00 +0000 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/eb258/entry_11651/ From Elizabeth Meschewski at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center:

Walgreens has started a medicine take back program at select Walgreens in Illinois. If all goes well, they will be expanding the program to other states later this year. A full list of take-back locations and more details about the program can be found in their press release.

There are a variety of reasons to take advantage of such programs. One of the most important reasons is fighting drug abuse – a national public health and safety concern. Another reason is to prevent accidental contamination of the environment. Find out more information on how medicines and personal care products enter the environment, affect plants and animals, and potential solutions on ISTC's website.

Many Illinois communities have already started take-back programs. Typically the drop boxes are located at police stations. Find a drop box in your community by visiting the Illinois EPA's searchable map.

Don't already have a medicine take-back program in your community? You can start your own local take-back program. Visit the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant's (IISG) website to learn more. IISG may have funding opportunities or could help procure funding assistance for your community.


The original post can be found on the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center website.]]>
Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful and Dispose of Unwanted Meds https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/eb258/entry_11442/ Wed, 08 Jun 2016 15:22:00 +0000 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/eb258/entry_11442/
Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB) will be hosting a medication collection this Saturday, June 11th. KNIB will be accepting unused or expired prescription, over-the-counter, and pet medications (including creams, liquids, and inhalers) and mercury thermometers at this free, drive-up collection event. Sharps, needles, and illegal drugs will not be accepted.

Locations and times are as follows:

Machesney Park
9am - 2pm
Machesney Town Center
8750 N. 2nd St.

South Beloit
9am - Noon
South Beloit Fire Station
429 Gardner St.

9am - Noon
Belvidere Township Office
8200 Fairgrounds Rd.

Winnebago (New this year!)
9am - Noon
Rockford Health Physicians
102 Landmark Dr.
Dispose of pharmaceuticals the right way https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/eb258/entry_11292/ Wed, 27 Apr 2016 12:02:00 +0000 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/eb258/entry_11292/

Do you have expired or unused medicine sitting around your house? How you choose to get rid of those drugs could hurt our waterways.

"Research has shown that there can be negative effects to animal health and reproduction from pharmaceuticals that haven't been removed from wastewater," said Sarah Zack, the pollution prevention extension specialist for Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant."Wastewater treatment plants weren't designed to remove many of the compounds getting into them."

So, how should you get rid of your drugs? Instead of putting medicines in the trash or flushing them in the toilet, bring them to National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 30. There are 310 sites in Illinois and 135 sites in Indiana. The day is being hosted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and people can find the nearest drop off location on the DEA's website.

There is a large and growing body of research available about the environmental impacts of pharmaceuticals in waterways, but any potential long-term human health impacts are not yet clear. So in the meantime, making sure we properly dispose of unwanted medications is a good bet.

"There are other reasons besides just water quality for making sure that your medicines are disposed of properly," Zack said, adding that pets and children can get into unused medicines around the house.

Besides taking medicine to take back programs, Zack said people should make sure they're communicating with their physicians about getting the appropriate quantities of medicine.

"Don't take a 90-day supply of a medicine if a 30-day supply is sufficient," Zack said.

Being cognizant of what's in your medicine cabinet and being willing to say "no," to samples of medication you don't need are other ways to decrease the amount of prescription drugs you own.

More than 5.5 million pounds of pills have been collected since the event was created in 2010, according to the DEA's website. Pills and patches may be dropped off, but the program cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps. The day is free and anonymous.

"It's really important that we have these events to give the public an opportunity to ensure that they are being responsible with medicines," Zack said.

If you are interested in setting up a permanent medicine disposal site in your local police station, contact Sarah Zack. You can also reach here on Twitter:@SarahAZack.

Ali Braboy is a senior studying journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.]]>
Seeking speakers for national PPCP conference in June in Huntsville, AL https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/eb258/entry_11173/ Tue, 29 Mar 2016 11:21:00 +0000 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/eb258/entry_11173/
We are currently seeking abstract submissions for oral or poster presentations. To register or submit an abstract, please go to the link provided below to connect to the conference website.

The One Health Conference is an interdisciplinary conference that brings experts together in the areas of human, animal, and environmental health to discuss current research and Extension activities being undertaken to minimize societal and environmental impacts of PPCPs. It will offer an array of dynamic keynote speakers, presentations, exhibits, and opportunities to discuss current PPCP issues.

This Conference is being hosted in partnership with the AAMU Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Department of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics; Tennessee State University; Kentucky State University; the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG); University of Illinois Extension; and the 1890 Universities Water Center.

SIU scientists learn new techniques and applications for bioavailability study https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/eb258/entry_11166/ Mon, 28 Mar 2016 08:43:00 +0000 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/eb258/entry_11166/ In a toxicology lab at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, a team of scientists is getting ready to test 50 sediment samples collected across the Northeast. The samples are slated to arrive courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) this summer, and their coming will set in motion a flurry of testing, quality control, and lab-to-lab communication.

The results will reveal whether a relatively-new testing method using Tenax resin can help scientists and natural resource managers more accurately predict the threat of pyrethroid insecticides to aquatic life. The approach makes it possible to hone in on the insecticides' bioavailability—the amount that could enter an animal's system instead of just how much total chemical is in the waterway—at a fraction of the time and cost of more traditional monitoring methods.

But first, the SIU researchers need to learn how to apply the Tenax technique to pyrethroids found in sediment.

Kara Huff Hartz, an associate scientist working in Michael Lydy's lab, has worked as an environmental and analytical chemists for years. Her experience with toxicology testing broadly and Tenax specifically, though, began in December.

"It definitely takes a little shift," she said. "It's more of a culture and a language shift. The principles are the same, and I have made shifts like this before. That's how science works these days. We're all overlapping and interdisciplinary.

I see myself as working between Dr. Lydy and the team. I will be in the lab making sure things are getting done on time and the quality assurance is good. Then I will be the one bringing the data back to Dr. Lydy."

Timing is especially key in this project. According to Federico Sinche, a PhD student working with Lydy, pyrethroids in the samples may break down quickly enough to affect their results.

"We have to make sure the Tenax is capturing the amount available for uptake by animals before degradation has taken place," he said. "The temporal component is a big one with this project. We will have to keep testing the sediment to see if biodegradation has occurred and keep track of the rate of degradation."

"And we're trying to coordinate all this with five or six other USGS labs," Huff Hartz added. "We are trying to do direct comparisons, so we need to start on the same day to account for the degradation issue."

Despite these challenges, Sinche and Huff Hartz say they are excited to tackle the three-year project—albeit for different reasons.

Sinche is no stranger to the Tenax technique, but his work till now has primarily focused on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and how their bioavailability is affected by saw dust, black carbon, and other types of organic matter found in sediment. Commonly found in electrical equipment, motors, and hydraulic systems before they were banned in the 1970s, these chemicals are unusually stable and can persist in the environment for decades. As such, they're a far cry from pyrethroids and other emerging contaminants.

"Learning more about pyrethroids will be interesting, especially given how wildly-used they are in the U.S." Sinche said. "I am excited to see how well we will be able to determine the bioavailable concentrations."

For Huff Hartz, it's the method that holds the most excitement.

"This is a very different analytical method for me. It enables us to step away from a biological endpoint and do something that is a little more reproducible and more widely applicable. Chemicals behave the same way. And they won't die on you. So this seems like a nice way to use chemistry to get answers to biological questions."

To learn more about pyrethroids, bioavailability, and the team's USGS project, check out UpClose with Michael Lydy.

Latest edition of UpClose highlights impacts of insecticide runoff https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/eb258/entry_11162/ Fri, 25 Mar 2016 14:03:00 +0000 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/unusedmeds/eb258/entry_11162/ What happens if your canary in the coal mine can no longer be trusted to sound the alarm? Environmental chemist Michael Lydy answers this question in the latest edition of research projects:

Residents of Illinois, Indiana, and the broader Great Lakes region will benefit from new IISG research. Altogether, the four, two-year projects will receive more than $780,000 starting in 2016.

John Kelly, a Loyola University biologist, will survey eight major rivers around the lake to trace the origins of microplastics pollution and what river characteristics—such as surrounding land use or nearby wastewater treatment plants—may be driving this.

Purdue University's Zhao Ma will lead an interdisciplinary team that seeks to reduce nutrients, sediment, and E. coli contamination in southern Lake Michigan.The team will use models to assess best management practices (BMP) for reducing runoff and the willingness of individuals to implement these BMPs. Looking at these two approaches together will allow them to optimize the best courses of action to reduce overall pollution.

A project led by SaraMcMillan, who studies biogeochemistry and hydrology at Purdue University, will examine drainage ditch design from multiple perspectives. McMillan will compare designs that improve long-term stability and ecological effectiveness.

And Beth Hall, Midwestern Regional Climate Center director, will work with Paul Roebber of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to improve how flash flooding events in urban centers are predicted and communicated. Hall and Roebber's project is partially funded by Wisconsin Sea Grant.