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Prevent Pill Abuse

Law Enforcement Hosts Prescription Drug "Take Back" DAy

April 23, 2013
by Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

Prevent pill abuse and theft by getting rid of potentially dangerous unexpired, expired and unwanted prescription drugs. Officers from the Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office and Emmetsburg Police Department will partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to host "Take Back"?Day.

Law enforcement officials will assist residents with medication for disposal at three locations this Saturday, April 27, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

MALLARD -- Bring medications for disposal to the Mallard First Responders building, 502 Inman, from 10 to 11 a.m.

RUTHVEN -- Bring medications for disposal to the Ruthven Community Care Center-Assisted Living, 2701 Mitchell St., from 10 to 11 a.m.

PALO ALTO COUNTY -- Bring medications for disposal to the Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office, 2001 11th Street, Emmetsburg, between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

"The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked," said Palo Alto County Sheriff Lynn Schultes.

This is the sixth opportunity in the past three years that residents have participated in "Take Back" Day to dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Last September, Americans turned in 244 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 Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over two million pounds (over a thousand tons) of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. 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 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 for disposing of unused medicines -- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash -- pose potential safety and health hazards.

Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act in 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an "ultimate user"?of controlled substance medications to dispose of these items by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General. The act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents' controlled substances in certain instances. DEA is drafting regulations to implement the act. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies will continue to host prescription "Take Back" events.

"We are very happy to expand this program into the Mallard and Ruthven communities," said Sheriff Schultes. "It is great to partner with the Mallard First Responders and the Ruthven Community Care Center. We will be hosting another program in the fall, at which time we will branch out into Graettinger and West Bend."

Questions about "Take Back"?Day??Contact Emmetsburg Police Chief Eric Hanson at 712-852-2424 or Palo Alto County Sheriff Lynn Schultes at 712-852-3535.



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