Ozarks organizations partner with Drug Enforcement Association for Drug Take Back Day
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It’s time to clean out those medicine cabinets. Drug Takeback Day is Saturday, April 30. Agencies across the Ozarks partner with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to help people properly dispose of medications.
By dropping off unused drugs at a disposal location, you are helping prevent medication misuse and environmental contamination. Law enforcement will collect the drugs and properly dispose of them to keep these substances from entering the water supply or falling into the wrong hands.
“We do know that more than half of people who misuse prescriptions get their prescriptions from a friend or a family member,” said Anna Jones with Community Partnership of the Ozarks. “It’s important that we’re not keeping substances that can potentially be harmful to either the water or our loved ones in our home.”
Since drug takeback day began, agencies have collected more than 15 million pounds of medications. In October, more than 600,000 pounds of pills were disposed of in Missouri alone. Officials encourage citizens to bring in anything from unused prescriptions to expired over-the-counter medications. Sites will not accept liquids, needles, or sharps, only pills and patches. By participating in national drug takeback day, you are helping prevent drug misuse and protect children from mistaking medicine for candy.
“Vitamins that have expired or that you’re not using, Get those out of the cabinets,” said Mercy Injury Prevention Specialist Becky Spain. “You wouldn’t think that vitamins would be a problem. But for small children, when they get into those, oftentimes they smell fruity, they taste fruity, and the kids get into those, and then they can have medication poisoning from that. So it’s just best to get all of those out of the house.”
You need to bring in any pills or patches that are unused or expired to a drop-off location. Law enforcement will then take those medications and dispose of them. This event helps protect our environment and plays a role in preventing medication misuse and opioid addiction.
“Teens start getting into drug abuse and drug use when they find medications in the house that are prescription controlled substances,” said Spain. “They start with using those, sometimes they take them to school and sell them, sometimes they use them themselves, but there are actually statistics that tell us that 80% of those who use heroin actually started misusing prescription pain medication.”
National Drug Takeback day is happening this Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. To find a location in your neighborhood, CLICK HERE.
If you can’t make it to a drop-off location on Drug Take-Back Day, you can find a list of permanent drop-off locations HERE.
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