Chicken-Fried News: Secondhand drugs 

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Wait! Don’t throw away those pills you don’t need anymore!

Well, don’t throw them away if you live in an Oklahoma nursing home.

For more than 10 years, Oklahomans have been putting unwanted medication to good use. Linda Johnston, director of social services for Tulsa County, developed a plan to give the medication to those in need. On May 22, NPR reported that Johnston uses a group of retired doctors to collect the medication from nursing homes and put it to good use.

“We began the program in September of 2004, and we have filled 172,149 prescriptions … I have spent less than $6,000 to recycle $16.8 [million of medicine]” said Johnston.

While Tulsa County is the only known recycling prescription drugs at this time (as far as we know), residents of Oklahoma may safely and legally dispose of their expired drugs in all 77 counties.

Oklahoma Statute 59-367 allows Tulsa County Pharmacy to legally collect and distribute the recycled medicine, according to Tulsa County Medical Society’s website. However, the pharmacy cannot redistribute controlled dangerous substances (narcotics) or most drugs not in their original or single-dose packaging.

Johnston’s program has won awards from numerous organizations, including Tulsa Mental Health Association, Oklahoma Public Health Association and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Now that this program is making the news, maybe we can expand it to the rest of Oklahoma and be known for actually doing something good for a change.

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