VPD take back earns nearly 40 pounds of drugs

Published 12:11 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Vicksburg police collected almost 40 pounds of prescription drugs during a take-back event held Saturday at Walgreens.

About 38 pounds of medication was brought in during the Drug Enforcement Administration-sponsored event Saturday, Vicksburg narcotics investigator Sgt. Jeff Merritt said.

“This by far was the most successful event we’ve run” Merritt said.

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The medication has been packaged and secured and will be turned over to the DEA this week, he said.

“They’ll take it and incinerate it,” Merritt said.

Saturday was the first time VPD held the take-back event at Walgreens, which might have contributed to the increased participation, he said. Previously, events have been held at Outlets at Vicksburg, but it was moved this year because the event had been scheduled for the same day as the outlet mall’s Shopping Extravaganza.

“A lot of people are more comfortable taking their prescription medication to a pharmacy,” Merritt said.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back is designed to prevent diversion, misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs, acting DEA Director Chuck Rosenberg said in a news release.

“Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat,” Rosenberg said.  “Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”

Vicksburg police accept unwanted and expired drugs throughout the year for those who could not make it to Saturday’s event, Merritt said.

“Come by the police department at any time and tell the front desk. They will call a narcotics officer,” Merritt said.