By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Pulaski Community Partners Coalition (PCPC) will once again be collecting unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications as part of its annual Rx Take Back.
The next Take Back will be held Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Food City grocery store on Bob White Boulevard in Pulaski. It will be a partnership of PCPC, Pulaski Police Department and Food City.
Thousands of prescription and over-the-counter pills were collected during a Take Back PCPC held at Food City this past fall. Spiegel said 44,000 pills, including 1,400 that were controlled substances, were taken in during the event.
Controlled drugs are those that are most susceptible to being distributed illegally and abused.
The purpose of the nationwide Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) program is to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or wanted so that they don’t end up being abused or contaminating the environment.
According to Pulaski Police Officer Megan Jennings, medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. She added that studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
If they don’t end up on the streets, the drugs also can contaminate the environment and harm wildlife by being flushed down the toilet or disposed of in landfills.
In April 2012, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of prescription drugs nationwide. In its four previous Take-Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds (775 tons) of pills.
Drugs collected during the Take-Backs are turned over to the DEA for proper disposal through incineration.