Help Stop Prescription Drug Abuse at ‘Take Back’ Day in St. George

Written by Det. Wyatt Miles

WASHINGTON COUNTY – The Washington County Area Task Force and The St. George City Police Department will be hosting the DEA National Take Back Initiative on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hurst Ben Franklin parking lot located at 160 North 500 West in St. George.  Members of the community are encouraged to bring in their unused or expired medications for safe disposal.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

Why should I take the time to do this?

Proper disposal of unwanted medications may be a chore, but there are important reasons to do this in a safe and responsible way.

It’s your environment – PLEASE DON’T FLUSH

–       Many drugs flushed down the toilet cannot be removed by the sewer treatment plant or septic system.

–       These substances then get into our streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater and our soil and may cause harm to the environment.

Drug abuse is very common.

–       Abuse of prescription drugs, particularly painkillers, has increased among teenagers and young adults.

–       More than half of the people who abuse painkillers get the drugs from friends, relatives and the home medicine cabinet.

–       Pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision.

You can make a difference!

–       Children and pets can find medicine in your home or in your trash.

–       Drugs may be taken by accident, on purpose, or illegally sold.

–       You can prevent accidental poisoning and drug abuse.

Leave medications in the original container and leave the label on.  You can black out or remove your personal information but keep the information about the medication legible.  This is a completely anonymous and free drop-off.  There is no refund and medications will not be resold or used.  All medications will be destroyed through incineration.  Law enforcement officers will be present to assure compliance with federal laws regarding controlled substances as law enforcement are the only personnel who can legally take possession of controlled substances after they have been prescribed.

The Take-back programs are the best way to dispose of old drugs, but if you can’t make it, you can find permanent community collection sites near you at www.useonlyasdirected.org, or www.dea.gov.

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