Drug Take Back Day is Saturday

Disposal sites planned for Jewell, Stratford and WC

On Saturday, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 17th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Area residents can bring pills for disposal Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to HyVee, Van Diest Medical Center in Stratford or the EJS Police Department in the rear of City Hall in Jewell. The sites cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps — only pills or patches.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Last fall Americans turned in nearly 460 tons (more than 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds — nearly 5,500 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. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen 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.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 27 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com.

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