Doctors and health professionals’ latest cause is warning consumers about dumpster divers – especially those working around senior living complexes.
“Empty discarded prescription bottles are an unsuspected source for illicit drug use,” reads a release from the Santa Clarita Valley Medical Society. “…the information on the bottles can be used by anyone to call pharmacies for refills and personal identification is not legally required by pharmacies when picking up any refill prescription medication, including controlled substances.”
The group contends that drug users know that senior citizens dispose of their prescription bottles in the garbage and have been going through trash looking for empty bottles that they can take to the pharmacy for refills. If they are questioned by the pharmacist, they simply say they are picking up the drugs for an elderly friend or relative.
“The magnitude of this problem is not known, but the potential implication could be nationwide,” they said in a written release.
The task force includes doctors, representatives of the SCV Senior Center, ACTION Parent and Teen Support Program, pharmacists and community leaders. They are recommending solutions to the problem that include education, awareness, and legislation to require a photo ID to pick up a prescription.
The group intends to approach policy makers in Sacramento to propose the photo ID bill.
A prescription disposal system is already in place at all county Sheriff’s stations, including the SCV station on Magic Mountain Parkway. Click here for information on the Safe Disposal System.