Drop off unused prescription drugs todayWORTHINGTON — According to Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerkikowske, prescription drug abuse is one of the fastest growing drug problems. In 2009, approximately 2.8 percent of the U.S. population was using psychotherapeutic drugs nonmedically.
WORTHINGTON — According to Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerkikowske, prescription drug abuse is one of the fastest growing drug problems. In 2009, approximately 2.8 percent of the U.S. population was using psychotherapeutic drugs nonmedically.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), with help from local law enforcement, has launched a nationwide “Take Back” initiative to collect unused and expired prescription drugs for destruction. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, law enforcement centers across America will accept all unwanted medications.
“Take Back events are an indispensable tool for reducing the threat that the diversion and abuse of these drugs pose to public health,” Kerkikowske stated. “The collaboration represented in this initiative is key in our national efforts to reduce pharmaceutical drug diversion and abuse.”
Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force Commander Troy Appel said there will be a uniformed officer available at the Prairie Justice Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to collect the drugs.
“It is completely anonymous,” he explained. “Basically, the officer is just going to hold out a bag and let people dump stuff in.”
Appel did recommend that people remove the identifying labels from original prescription bottles, but said no questions would be asked.
“Then we’ll turn everything over to the DEA for disposal,” he said. “They’ll take everything we acquire.”
In Rock County, people who had other plans for today had already dropped off old prescription medications at the law enforcement center. Other collection sites in southwest Minnesota include the Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office and the Murray County Sheriff’s Office.
“With this National Prescription Drug Take Back campaign, we are aggressively reaching out to individuals to encourage them to rid their households of unused prescription drugs that pose a safety hazard and can contribute to prescription drug abuse,” said U.S. Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler. “The Department of Justice is committed to doing everything we can to make our communities safer, and this initiative represents a new front in our efforts.”