National Drug Take Back Day is Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Barton County Sheriff’s Office will join the Barton County Health Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration to give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
Barton County and area residents can bring their pills for disposal to the convenient drive-through drop off point at Lakin and Kansas streets in downtown Great Bend.
Representatives will be on the east side of the Barton County Courthouse on Kansas Street to accept unused prescription and nonprescription medications, said Sheriff Brian Bellendir. “This is a public service offered by the Health Department and the Sheriff’s Office to prevent abuse of prescription drugs and allow for proper disposal.”
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, he 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 alarming high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs, the sheriff said. “Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.”
“Unused or expired prescription medications at home are a public safety issue and can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse,” said Janel Rose of the Health Department. “Unused prescriptions thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. The misuse and abuse of over-the-counter medications, illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans.”
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.
“Removing unwanted or expired medications from the medicine cabinet is an easy and concrete step that everyone can take to make a difference in the opioid crisis,” Rose said. “Make plans to dispose of unused and unwanted medications during DEA National Rx Take Back Day.”
This valuable service is a safe way to dispose of prescription medications that may be stored in homes, Rose said.
For more information on National Drug Take-Back Day, contact Barton County Health Department at 620-793-1902 or the BCSO at 620-793-1876.