Drug ‘take back’ slated for April 29

A prescription drug “take back” is slated for Saturday, April 29, from 10 am to 2 pm at the Greene County law enforcement center at 204 S. Chestnut St in Jefferson.

This is the 13th time in seven years the Greene County sheriff’s office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have provided residents an opportunity to to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

(The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons (more than 730,000 pounds) 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 more than 7.1 million pounds—more than 3,500 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, according to a DEA press release. 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.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 29 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website or contact Greene County sheriff Jack Williams at 515-386-2136.

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