Sheriff’s office, DEA to “take back” drugs

The Patrick County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will collect unwanted prescription drugs on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, this Take Back Day event will “give the public its 11th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.”
Bring your pills for disposal to the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office at 742 Commerce St. in Stuart. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills and patches.) The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.
Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons (over 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds—more than 2,750 tons—of pills.
The initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, the news release stated: “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the numbers of accidental poisonings and overdoes 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 release said. 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.

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