The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its seventh opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
The Sheriff’s Department in Pittsboro will accept all medications for disposal from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 as part of National Take Back Drugs Day.
Deputy Kenneth White said expired/unused drugs will be accepted, “no questions asked” so that they may be disposed of properly.
Americans turned in 371 tons (over 742,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners during a similar effort last April. In its six previous “Take Back” events, DEA and its partners took in over 2.8 million pounds – more than 1,400 tons – of pills.
White said ridding these drugs from county homes is a vital public safety and public health issue.
“Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” White said. “Rates of prescription drug abuse are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.”
Recent studies suggest 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.