County law enforcement agencies teaming up to help residents dispose of medications
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is taking any area residents’ unwanted prescription drugs off their hands and disposing of them for free on April 27 from 2 – 6 p.m.
In conjunction with the New London Police Department, Winfield Police Department, Wayland Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Henry County Sheriff’s department will give the public its sixth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by getting rid of potentially hazardous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
People who wish to take advantage of this service can take their medications for disposal to the Mt. Pleasant Police Department, New London Police Department, Salem City Hall, Wayland City Hall or Winfield City Hall.
The service is free and anonymous.
Last September, Americans turned in 224 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its five previous events, DEA and its partners took in over two million pounds of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that linger in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
Studies show that 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 of disposing unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow and “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.
Until new regulations are in place, law enforcement agencies like the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA will continue to hold prescription take back events every few months.