Sheriff's office plans drug-take-back event

The seventh national Drug Take-Back Initiative will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Brookshire’s at 2800 S. Hazel St.

The goal is prevent pill abuse and theft by giving the public an opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous — no questions asked.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Tri-County Drug Task Force and Drug Enforcement Administration are collaborating for the event.

A similar event in April netted 73.5 pounds of prescription medications in Jefferson County. Nationally, 371 tons were collected.

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, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office, 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.

Prior to the initiative, Americans’ usual method for disposing of unused medicines was flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, both of which pose potential safety and health hazards.

By contrast, the initiative provides a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications.