EPD, DEA partner for Drug Take Back event

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, April 25, 2018

This Saturday the Elizabethton Police Department is partnering with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to help local residents safely dispose of unwanted prescription medications.

The Police Department will host a local collection event as part of the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Elizabethton Police Department, which is located at 525 E. F St. in downtown.

This program aims to provide a responsible and convenient means of properly disposing of prescription medications which are no longer needed. Residents can safely dispose of prescription medications that have expired or are no longer in use.

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According to information from the DEA, these twice per year Drug Take Back events provide a vital service for both public safety and public health.

“Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” a DEA statement on the event said. “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,” the statement continued. “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.”

This program is a free service to the public and anonymous with no questions asked.

Residents are invited to bring their unused prescription medications to dispose of them, but according to the DEA and the Police Department, no syringes or other sharp objects like lancets can be accepted at the event. The DEA also notes that liquids will not be accepted, only pills and patches.

If possible, residents are asked to bring the medications in their original packaging.

According to the DEA, more than 4,200 law enforcement agencies across the country participated in the last Drug Take Back Day event in October 2017, and 912,305 pounds of medication was collected during those events.

For those who may not be able to make it to the event on Saturday, the Elizabethton Police Department also offers a disposal collection box which is available in their lobby during normal business hours Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Another disposal box is located in the lobby of the Carter County Detention Center and is available to the public 24 hours a day.