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September 5-11 is a Great Time to Do Your Part to Ensure Medications Don't Fall Into the Wrong Hands


Contact: Marcia Mueting, Nebraska Pharmacists Association, 402-420-1500; Cindy Kreifels, The Groundwater Foundation, 402-434-2740; Joan McVoy, Nebraska Regional Poison Center, 800-222-1222

LINCOLN, NE (September 8, 2016) – September 5-11 is National Suicide Prevention Week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States. For young people between ages 15 and 34, suicide is the second leading cause of death (National Institute of Mental Health). In many cases prescription medications are used. In the last year in Nebraska there were 145 drug overdose deaths, triple the number reported in 1999. Of these deaths, 29 were suicides.

So what can you do during Suicide Prevention Week and all year round to make sure medications aren’t falling into the wrong hands?

  • Ensure your medications are securely stored in your home.
  • Periodically check your medicine cabinet for expired prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • Don’t flush or trash leftover medications, they can contaminate our soil and water resources.
  • Take back your leftover, expired, or unused medications to a pharmacy participating in the Nebraska MEDS project for disposal. There are over 290 pharmacies across the state accepting medications, find a pharmacy near you at

Visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at to learn more about suicide prevention, including identifying warning signs and risk factors, treatment, and more.

Since the Nebraska MEDS project began in August 2012, over 33,000 pounds of pharmaceuticals have been collected across the state and disposed of safely.  Do your part and take them back today!

This project is being offered to the state of Nebraska by a statewide coalition of partners and with funding from the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

The Nebraska Medication Education on Disposal Strategies (MEDS) Coalition consists of the Nebraska Pharmacists Association, the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, The Nebraska Regional Poison Center, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, WasteCap Nebraska and The Groundwater Foundation.  The mission of the Nebraska MEDS Coalition is to educate Nebraskans about drug disposal and provide safe ways to dispose of them in order to better safeguard the environment and protect public health. 



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