Barton County residents with expired medication are invited to dispose of unwanted pills and patches this Saturday during national Drug Take Back Day. Items can be dropped off at sites in Great Bend and Hoisington from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 29.
Representatives will be on the east side of the Barton County Courthouse on Kansas Avenue and at the Hoisington Police Department, 109 East 1st St., to accept unused prescription and nonprescription medications.
They cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Sponsors are the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and the Hoisington Police Department, in conjunction with the Barton County Health Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir 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.
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.
Take Back events have helped the DEA and partners to remove more than 3,500 tons of pills in the past 12 years. Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons — over 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.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about Saturday’s Take Back Day event contact Captain Josh Nickerson of the Hoisington Police Department at 620-653-4995 or Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir at 620-793-1876.