Local law enforcement participates in Drug Take-Back Day
Published 8:27 pm Friday, October 21, 2016
This Saturday local law enforcement agencies are providing a way for Vicksburg residents to properly dispose of prescription medication.
Both the Vicksburg Police Department and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office are participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
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The VPD will be stationed in the parking lot of Walgreens on Halls Ferry Road Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Sherriff’s Office will man a command post in the Outlets at Vicksburg parking lot from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
“We don’t need your name. We don’t care where it comes from,” Sheriff Martin Pace said. “It’s completely anonymous. They don’t have to fill out any forms. They don’t even have to get out of their cars. They can just pull up.”
Drug Take-Back day creates an environmentally friendly way to dispose of prescription medications.
According to information provided by the police department, flushing expired prescription medication can contaminate a water supply.
“Proper disposal of prescription medications protect our citizens, water systems, pets and Earth,” Police Chief Walter Armstrong said.
Pace added the event is important because “there’s no safe recommended way to get rid of (medications), and the No. 1 substance abuse problem in Mississippi is pharmaceutical diversion. A lot of people access pharmaceuticals through relatives or break-ins.”
Some break-ins, he said, only target prescription medication, also making disposal a safety issue.
“We will box it and turn it over to the Drug Enforcement Administration to be burned in an environmentally friendly incinerator,” Pace said.
The collection sites will accept narcotics, over-the-counter medications, prescription medications and vitamins, but will not accept syringes, inhalers, liquid medications, ointments or lotions, according to information provided by the VPD.
During the last National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day held in May, “the DEA and over 4,200 of its state, local and tribal law enforcement partners collected 893,498 pounds of unwanted medicines—about 447 tons—at almost 5,400 sites spread through all 50 states,” according to a DEA press release.
The release states many prescription drug abusers report they get their drugs from friends and family: “Americans understand that cleaning out old prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers and bedside tables reduces accidents, thefts, and the misuse and abuse of these medicines, including the opioid painkillers that accounted for 20,808 drug overdoses—78 a day—in 2014.”
In addition to special events like Saturday, the VPD provides a year-round Drug Take-Back prescription collection bin in the department’s lobby to provide year-round proper disposal of medications.