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Ricketts declares week as Nebraska Drug Overdose Awareness Week

August 27, 2018 GMT

LINCOLN - Governor Pete Ricketts declared this week as Nebraska Drug Overdose Awareness Week to promote medication disposal.

Hallie Schimenti with the Nebraska Pharmacists Association tells News Talk WJAG each year over 289 million prescriptions for painkillers are written in the United States.

Schimenti says leaving any leftover medication in your home can lead to accidental poising or an overdose.

“We just want to draw attention to our program (Nebraska MEDS Initiative) because a lot of take back days get a lot of press because its an event, and so that’s why we asked the governor to proclaim a week as Nebraska Drug Overdose Awareness Week so when patients are going to their pharmacy this week their pharmacist can tell them the service is offered every single day” Schimenti said.

She says also when flushed, put down the drain, or thrown in the trash, over-the-counter and prescription medications can contaminate water supplies.

Since 2016, over 61,000 pounds of medications have been returned to pharmacies across the state.