County taking part in National Prescription Takeback Day
Sheriff urges residents to responsibly dispose of unused medications
By JOHN RECH
It’s easy to forget about an old medication once you’ve stopped using it. Local officials lined up early to create awareness for the 19th annual National Prescription Takeback Day on April 24. Last year, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) collected one million pounds of unwanted medication. Local law enforcement offices have secured bins to collect unneeded medications 24-7.
The DEA stated goal for the day aimed to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential abuse of medications.
Cleaning unneeded prescriptions out of the medicine cabinet reduces social and criminal problems.
“Old drugs in the home can wind up in the wrong hands,” said Crittenden County Sheriff Mike Allen. “Teenagers will go to the grandparents house and find some old medicine. They’ll find out
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its worth a little something on the streets and sell it, or they’ll try it themselves. Its just better to dispose of it properly.”
Crowley’s Ridge Development Council Director Tony Thomas advised against flushing unused medication.
“Never flush it, because the chemicals can wind up in our lakes, plants and drinking water,” said Thomas.
The DEA has sponsored nationwide takeback effort for a generation and expanded its take back effort in recent years. The prescription take back program included old vaping devices and E-cigarettes but the batteries must be removed. Any needles need to be placed in a sharps container before dropping them off.
“We have a lock box and the DEA comes on a regular basis and carries it away for proper disposal,” said Allen.
Both the Marion and West Memphis police departments have drop boxes near the front entrances. The Sheriff’s drop box is in the lobby. To find other drop locations in the state, visit artakeback.org.
The sheriff saw no need to wait until the official takeback day.
“As you read about this, I hope it prompts folks to gather up your unneeded and out of date medication and take it to a drop box,” said Allen.