Maine residents get pill recycling program


PORTLAND, Maine Unused and unwanted pills present a challenge when it comes to throwing them away: Flushed down the toilet, they can cause pollution; thrown into the garbage, kids looking for a cheap but possibly dangerous high can take them.

Pharmacies in Maine are participating in Safe Disposal for ME, a program that allows patients and caregivers to turn in their unwanted pills to be safely destroyed at the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. Pharmacies provide return envelopes and then ship off the returned drugs for destruction.

The University of Maine Center on Aging coordinates the program, which began in May and is targeted at the elderly. The envelopes are distributed to participating pharmacies, which then give them to patients 65 and older.

Participating drugstores include Rite Aid, though the number of pharmacies is expected to double later in the year.

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