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Take-Back Day nets 136 pounds of drugs

2013 drug takeback-webBy MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

National Prescription Take-Back Day removed 136 pounds of prescription and non-prescription drugs from circulation in Pulaski County Saturday.

Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis said his department’s booth in front of Walmart in Dublin took in 42.4 pounds of drugs, which was down slightly from last year when 50 pounds were turned in.

At the Pulaski Community Partners Coalition (PCPC) booth outside Food City in Pulaski, 93.6 pounds of drugs were collected.

Lee Spiegel, PCPC coordinator, said a pill-by-pill count showed that a total of 30,655 pills were turned in for disposal, with 1,876 being narcotics and almost 29,000 being over-the-counter or other types of medications. Narcotics are drugs that are most susceptible to being distributed illegally and abused.

Spiegel said “a good bit” of liquid medicines also were turned in Saturday.

PCPC’s collections also were down from 2012, when 44,000 pills (1,400 narcotic pills) were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) administration.

Spiegel expressed gratitude to PCPC volunteers who worked the booth and PCPC’s partners, Pulaski Police Department, Food City in Pulaski, and LewisGale Hospital-Pulaski for assisting with the effort. “It is only possible to do this with their help!” she said.

The purpose of the nationwide DEA-sponsored Take-Back 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.

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

If the medications don’t end up on the streets, they often are flushed down toilets or disposed of in landfills. This can contaminate the environment and harm wildlife.

Drugs collected during the Take-Backs are turned over to the DEA for proper disposal through incineration.