According to WGME, every year Mainers turn in thousands of pounds of unused drugs that are then incinerated. There is constructive alternative to burning National Drug Take-Back Day medications, recycle them by donating them to Mainers who are uninsured and under insured.

Drug Take-Back events are important because pouring unused medication down the sink or flushing it down the toilet pollutes our water. Keeping expired medication around is dangerous because it's potency can change over time. Unused pain medication can invite criminals. If you aren't using drugs, it's best to get them out of the house.

After drugs are donated from individuals, nursing, homes and clinics, some states are recycling the unused drugs by redistributing the unopened medication to patients who can't afford them.

Why are there so many prescribed leftovers? Some studies suggest that doctors are over-prescribing. Another contributor may be that some insurance plans, including medicare, believe in maintenance medication and require pharmacies to dispense 90-day supplies to patients who sometimes change drugs or die without finishing the subscription.

In other drug redistribution programs, pills in bottles are not accepted, only drugs in sealed blister packs. All personal information and pharmacy labeling are removed before being added to inventory.

More From 102.9 WBLM