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Bud Nicola Honored at Washington State Prevention Summit

At the 2013 Washington State Prevention Summit, NWCPHP faculty member Bud Nicola, MD, MHSA, was honored, along with several of his colleagues, for his work to bring a medicine take-back program to King County, Washington.
Bud Nicola Honored at Washington State Prevention Summit

Bud Nicola, MD, MHSA

A NWCPHP faculty member is honored for his work on a county-wide medicine take-back program.

November 19, 2013

At the 2013 Washington State Prevention Summit, NWCPHP faculty member Bud Nicola, MD, MHSA, was honored, along with several of his colleagues, for his work to bring a medicine take-back program to King County, Washington. Nicola serves on the King County Board of Health and is part of a subcommittee charged with the creation of a secure medicine return program for King County.

The subcommittee members who received the Washington State Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention Award alongside Nicola were David Baker, Mayor of the City of Kenmore; Richard Conlin, Seattle City Councilmember; David Fleming, MD, Director and Health Officer of Public Health - Seattle & King County; and King County Councilmember, Joe McDermott.

The goal of the medicine take-back program is to provide King County residents with a safe way to dispose of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications. Flushing surplus medication down the toilet or tossing it in the garbage can lead to environmental harm. But simply letting unwanted medication accumulate in a residence is not a good idea either—children and youth can access it and either poison themselves or become addicted.

As designed by the subcommittee, the medicine take-back program will install secure boxes located in most retail pharmacies or law enforcement offices in King County. Medicine left at these locations will be collected and then destroyed by incineration at designated facilities. Drug manufacturers who sell medicines for residential use in King County will be required to run and pay for the program. Oversight of the program will be given by Public Health - Seattle & King County. The program is scheduled to go into effect in early 2014.

When asked about the prospects of the program, Nicola says, “This program including education promises to curb our serious rising problem in prescription drug abuse.”

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