On Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 18th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
According to a press release from the Community Action Commission of Fayette County, residents can bring their pills for disposal to either Kroger at 548 Clinton Ave. or the Sheriff’s Annex at 110 W. Market St. in Washington C.H. Sites cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches and the service is free and anonymous.
Last fall Americans turned in nearly 469 tons (more than 937,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 17 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 11.8 million pounds—approximately 5,900 tons—of pills.
According to Nina Rains, co-director for the Fayette County Prevention Coalition, this initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Research suggests that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
“Take-back events help raise awareness to the importance of proper medicine disposal,” Rains said. “Unused medications left in the medicine cabinet can easily get into the hands of our youth, and prescription drug abuse has become a normalized teen behavior. By properly disposing of excess medications, the citizens of Fayette County are doing their part in creating a healthier, drug free community. Since April, 183 pounds of medication have been collected and destroyed through the DEA’s National Drug Take-Back event and through the permanent drug drop box located at the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.”
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 Oct. 26 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com. For more information about safe storage and disposal contact Nina Rains, DFC Co-Director at Community Action Commission of Fayette County by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information in this article was provided by Nina Rains, co-director for the Fayette County Prevention Coalition.