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Drug Take Back Day Saturday
Local agencies to collect unused medications
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Vapes, cartridges to be accepted during National Drug Take Back Day 


KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Vapes and cartridges will be accepted at drop off locations throughout Kansas during National Drug Take Back Day Saturday, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

“The public is welcome to dispose safely of vaping devices and liquids to get these products off our streets and out of the hands of children,” McAllister said. As usual, the sites participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration-sponsored event also will accept prescription drug tablets, capsules and patches.  

The Barton County Health Department and the Barton County Sheriff’s Office are joining forces for the annual Drug Take back Day Saturday. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the east side of the courthouse, 1400 Kansas Ave. in Great Bend.

In addition, old medications will be collected at the Larned Police Department, 419 Broadway St. The times are the same.  

“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,” said Sheriff Brian Bellendir. Drugs will be accepted free of charge from private citizens as well as institutions, such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities, that may need to dispose of any controlled substances, such as tablets, capsules and patches.

These agencies are working with enforcement officers at locations across the state, and around the country, to gather unused medications, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said. The collection events are part of a nationwide effort to safely dispose of leftover meds. 

Since the Drug Take-Back Day program began in 2010, more than 88 tons of unwanted medications have been collected and destroyed in Kansas alone.

“Unused medications are dangerous for kids, pets and the environment,” Schmidt said. “Diversion of opioid painkillers, in particular, can contribute to the misuse of these drugs that has become a serious nationwide problem. Getting leftover medicines out of the medicine cabinets and safely destroyed keeps them from falling into the wrong hands and makes our communities safer.”

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study showed a majority of those drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

The National Drug Take-Back Day is coordinated by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which collects and safely destroys the medications. The DEA permits local law enforcement to accept prescription and nonprescription medications for destruction once a year, Bellendir said.

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates opioid overdoses kill 130 Americans every day. 

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, pharmaceutical opioids are a leading cause of drug poisoning deaths in Kansas. In addition, Americans are now advised that traditional methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – pose potential safety and health hazards and should be avoided.

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.