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Take-backs save lives
DEA disposes of unwanted drugs
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Kansans safely disposed of more than 6 tons of unused and unwanted medicines during National Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 24, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said. Two hundred ninety pounds of medications were dropped off at Barton County’s site outside of the courthouse, overseen by the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and the Barton County Health Department.

“These drugs will no longer pose any kind of health or safety threat to citizens of Barton County,” said County Health Director Karen Winkelman.

It’s a worthwhile effort. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that America has a “drug overdose epidemic.” Drug overdose deaths continue to impact communities across the United States. From 1999 to 2018, over 750,000 people died from a drug overdose. In 2018, almost 70,000 people died from drug overdoses. It was a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States.

Two out of three overdose deaths involved an opioid -- such as prescription opioids, heroin or synthetic opioids (like fentanyl).

The national take-back’s overall sponsor is the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Drug Take Back Day only deals with prescription drugs, by providing a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of said drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Aside from the possibility that these drugs could be intentionally abused by adults, they could fall into the hands of children. They could go astray in so many ways, but they won’t, because the medications collected are turned over to the DEA, which safely destroys them.

It may seem like a small thing, but people spent part of their Saturday on Oct. 24 collecting these items. It’s just one more example of people who don’t get enough credit for all that they do, doing what they do.