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Local leaders explain importance of Drug Take Back Day to SWMO community

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 4:00 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - National Drug Take Back Day is set for Saturday, Oct. 23. Hundreds of tons of prescription drugs are expected to be discarded nationwide.

Ryan Baker, the ambulatory care director of pharmacy for CoxHealth, said many are affected by this event every year.

“Each year, there are millions of instances in which medication is taken in error,” said Baker. “Maybe we picked it up from from grandma on accident, or it falls into the wrong hands. Maybe little kids get a hold of it.”

Last year, more than 400 tons of drugs were discarded through drug take-back events nationwide.

Two events will be held in Springfield this weekend at the Library Center and the CoxHealth Pharmacy at Cox North. People can drop off their prescription drugs anonymously. Both events are planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Nixa will also hold an event at the local CVS Pharmacy with the DEA tomorrow, during which people can drop off drugs. The local initiative is in conjunction with the DEA, which allows agents to take the prescription drugs and incinerate them.

Nixa Police Officer, Brent Forgey, said educating your kids about prescription drugs is important for their safety.

“So what we teach kids in this community is what’s safe to taste and not safe to taste,” said Forgey. “So we don’t want someone to throw some pills out and it’s laying on the ground or in a park. We don’t want kids to get a hold of those and throw them in their mouth.”

Baker said the Springfield drop-off events benefit the community.

“Clean the medication cabinets. You can drop these off anonymously and get them safely destroyed,” said Baker. “If you miss us, we’ve got these permanent drop boxes all throughout the city, as well and surrounding counties.”

Forgey said this is a great opportunity for the community to help each other.

“It’s being disposed of properly. So I think part of what we’re doing tomorrow is also an education. We want to teach people that we’re going to take an active role in this community to help get rid of this stuff if you have it, and we’ll do it safely together,” said Forgey.

To find a local drug drop-off center, CLICK HERE.

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