Local organizations are teaming up for Take Back Day this Saturday, Sept. 26 to provide Grayson Countians their 10th opportunity in five years to dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, the Leitchfield Police Department (LPD), Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center (TLRMC), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are encouraging the public to bring pills or patches to the LPD, located at 117 South Main St. in Leitchfield, to help to prevent pill abuse and theft.
According to TLRMC Director of Planning and Marketing Bill Oldham, the DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps on Take Back Day, only pills or patches.
The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
“It’s been very successful over the past couple of years we’ve been doing it,” said Leitchfield Chief of Police Kevin Henderson, of the voluntary service. “We’re going to continue to do it [as long as we’re allowed to do so].”
In September 2014, Americans turned in 309 tons (over 617,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 5,500 Take Back sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners.
When those results are combined with what was collected in the eight previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have collected over 4.8 million pounds—more than 2,400 tons—of pills, Oldham said.
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, Oldham said in a TLRMC news release.
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are 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, Oldham said.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or the Sept. 26 Take Back Day event, visit the DEA’s website, www.dea.gov.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.