Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The Drug Enforcement Administration is sponsoring a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, with a local collection site at the University of West Georgia, on University Drive in front of Row Hall on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“The DEA sent out an email to all law enforcement in Georgia asking for collection points,” said UWG Police Chief Tom Mackel. “We volunteered as a means of helping not only the university, but all of Carroll County.”
The DEA’s campaign to collect potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction is the first of its kind. The campaign is free and anonymous, and anyone can attend to dispose medication.
“All that is necessary is for the individuals to come by the drop-off point and place the prescriptions in marked boxes,” said Mackel. “The medications will then be given to the DEA to dispose of. We will take all prescriptions, regardless of what they are, no forms to sign and no questions asked.”
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day campaign addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are increasing, as well as the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses. Studies show that a majority of the abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends.
“We’re seeing prescription drugs, legally obtained by patients, being stolen by relatives or others for personal use,” said Mackel. “Another problem with the pills is that people will dispose of them by flushing them down the toilet. Due to the varying chemical nature of the pills, this has become a source of water pollution that we need to control.”
The campaign allows individuals to dispose of their drugs legally and safely. Collection sites in other local communities can be found by visiting www.dea.gov, a site that will be continuously updated with locations.
“We’ll have a red tent set up at the Police Department,” said Mackel. “Just come by and dispose of any and all unwanted drugs from your home.”