The Barton County Sheriff’s office in conjunction with the Barton County Health Department and the DEA hosted a drug take-back day last Saturday, April 27. Sheriff Brian Bellendir said they recovered more than 313 pounds of prescription and non-prescription drugs, “a record for us.”
Capt. Josh Nickerson at the Hoisington Police Department said they collected another 75 pounds of drugs. "It's the most we've ever had."
Representatives from the BCSO and the Health Department were located on the east side of the Barton County Courthouse to accept unused medications. The Hoisington Police Department also conducted a drug take-back of pills and patches.
The United States Drug Enforcement Agency permits local law enforcement to accept prescription and nonprescription medications for destruction once a year.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, sponsors said. 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.
Since the fall of 2010, the DEA has collected approximately 11,000 pounds of prescription drugs through take-back events.