Prescription Medicine Abuse

Well over 300 lbs of drugs have been collected since the program’s inception

she gets her hair...Teen medicine abuse in Blaine County is a serious problem, with nearly 30% of our high school students reporting using a prescription medicine non-medically. But there are steps we can all take, starting with getting educated about the types of medicine that teens frequently abuse, you can take the first step in helping to end medicine abuse.

The next step is to secure and dispose of unused medicines properly. The Drug Coalition partners with the Blbus rx adaine County Sheriff, Ketchum Police Department, Environmental Resource Center, St. Luke’s Hospital and St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation to establish permanent receptacles for citizens to safely discard unwanted prescriptions. These are available to the public at the Ketchum Police Department, Hailey Police Department, the Blaine County Sheriff, Luke’s Family Pharmacy, Valley Apothecary, St. Luke’s Wood River, Atkinson’s Drug Store, & Albertsons, Hailey. (coming soon to Bellevue Police Department, Sun Valley Police Station, and Albertson’s Pharmacy) locations during business hours. These drugs are a potential danger to our youth, adults and environment, so please dispose of unused or expired Rx medicines.

The Drug Coalitions’ goal is to educate the community about the benefits of disposing of unused and expired medicines.  This reduces the supply and accessibility of these commonly abused substances for young people in our community.

It's important to get drugs out of the medicine cabinet, said Sheriff Gene Ramsey during a county meeting

But the problem arises when residents don’t know how to dispose of expired or leftover drugs and end up flushing them.

“We don’t want people dumping these things down the toilet,” said County Commissioner Larry Schoen. “They have real environmental effects. It’s a water-quality issue.”

The wastewater treatment plants have no way of pulling these substances out of the water stream. Prescription drugs that are flushed stay in the water supply even after the water is treated.

“They’re going to end up in the river,” Schoen said. “That can’t be good.”

The only way to properly dispose of expired and leftover medication is to incinerate it, which naturally poses some “challenges.” It’s important to come up with a disposal program.

she gets herYoung people have the ability to get prescription drugs from cabinets and to then abuse them and distribute them to their peers, that just feeds our concerns about youth Rx medicine abuse.

The medication brought to the drug take-back program will be collected by the Idaho State Police.  The police will then escort the medication to an incinerator in Utah that has agreed to dispose of the prescriptions

The locations will accept all drugs in pill form, including narcotics, but cannot accept syringes or liquids such as cough syrup.


Whether your home is on sewer or septic, you should never flush medications unless information on the prescription label specifically instructs you to do so. Again, if there is a collection program in you community, please consider this option before flushing any prescriptions or medications.

*Do not give medications to friends. Doctors prescribe drugs based on a person’s specific symptoms and medical history.
A drug that works for you could be dangerous for someone else.
*When in doubt about the proper disposal, talk to your pharmacist. The same disposal methods for prescription drugs also applies to over-the-counter drugs.


Disposal instructions on the label are part of FDA;s “risk mitigation” strategy. When a drug contains instructions to flush it down the toilet, it is because the FDA, working with the manufacturer, has determined this method to be the most appropriate route of disposal that presents the least risk to safety. Drugs such as powerful narcotic pain relievers and other controlled substances carry instruction for flushing to reduce the danger of unintentional use or overdose and illegal abuse. For example, the fentanyl patch, an adhesive patch that delivers medication through the skin, comes with instructions to flush used or leftover patches. Too much fentanyl can cause severe breathing problems and leads to death in babies, children, pets and even adults. Even after the patch is used, a lot of the drug remains in the patch. So you would not want to just throw it away.


Diseases such as Hepatitis A and C, and HIV can be transmitted from needle sticks. Needles, syringes, and lancets (sharps) should be safely managed to prevent injury and disease transmission.


Purchase commercially available sharps container. If purchase is not an option, container at the very least must be constructed of hard plastic (eg. laundry detergent) or metal (eg coffee can).
With permanent marker label container, “USED HOUSEHOLD SHARPS” “DO NOT RECYCLE”
Add sharps point-first into container.
Keep lid on at all times to prevent spills and decrease needle stick hazards.
Fill container as much as possible with sharps and fill with sand or kitty litter.You must be able to close container lid.
When full, cap container with lid and duct tape shut.
Place in trash

Want to get help us reduce Rx Medicine Abuse by youth in Blaine County? Contact us for ways to get involved!