Local law enforcement agencies along with Barton County Health Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration are teaming up to help people get rid of unwanted prescription medicines on Saturday during the National Drug Take-Back Day.
Sheriff Brian Bellendir and his department will join the health department and the DEA and give the public its 11th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
Pills can be taken to Jack Kilby Square at 1400 Main St. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for disposal in the east parking lot.
“Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners,” Bellendir said. “This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issues.”
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, health officials said.
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 are not safe. Flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards.
The collection events are part of a nationwide effort to safely dispose of leftover medications to prevent accidental or intentional misuse.
Since the program began in 2010, more than 38 tons of unwanted medications have been collected and destroyed in Kansas alone.
The National Drug Take-Back Day is coordinated by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which collects and safely destroys the medications.
“Unused medications are dangerous for kids, pets and the environment,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said. “Getting these leftover medicines out of the medicine cabinets keeps them from falling into the wrong hands and makes our communities safer.”
Unused prescriptions can be turned in year-round at many local law enforcement locations. Kansans should contact their local sheriff’s office or police department for more information.
For more information about the event contact Director Shelly Schneider at the Barton County Health Department at 620-793-1902.