Sheriff’s Office, DEA to hold prescription drug collection

Area residents can drop off expired, unused or unwanted medications April 29

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 13th opportunity in seven years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

The drug take-back will be held Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked, according to organizers.

The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches, organizers said.

Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 12 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 7.1 million pounds — more than 3,500 tons — of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines–flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash–both pose potential safety and health hazards.

There will be three collect sites in Hamilton County:

• Hy-Vee, 823 Second St., Webster City. The collection site will be in the southwest part of the parking lot by the mailbox.

• Van Diest Medical Center Clinic, 817 Shakespeare, Stratford. The collection site will be at the alley access to the clinic.

• Family Pharmacy, 633 Main St. Jewell. The collection site will be in the alley access to pharmacy.

All of collection sites are weather permitting. Inclement weather may force the collection to be moved inside the businesses.