National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day: Dispose of prescription drugs through Vicksburg Police Department, Warren County Sheriff’s Office

Published 3:40 pm Friday, April 29, 2022

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, April 30, a day when Mississippians are urged to safely dispose of unneeded medications at anonymous disposal sites around the state.

The Vicksburg Police Department will be accepting prescription drugs at the Walgreens on Halls Ferry Road between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office will also be set up to collect unused prescriptions at the outlet mall on South Frontage Road between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday.

This is the 22nd year the event has taken place.

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“So far it’s been very successful. Each year we get more and more participants,” Vicksburg Police Chief Penny Jones said of the event.

Year-round collection drop-boxes are located in the lobby of the Vicksburg Police Department and at the CVS on North Frontage Road.

The program is run by the Mississippi Public Health Institute through a program called Make Mississippi OD Free.

“Overdose deaths continue to hit tragic record highs, but we can take action to prevent drugs from being misused by safely disposing of unneeded medications,” said MPHI Program Director Jan Dawson.

According to a press release from MPHI, “Overdoses are now the leading cause of death among U.S. adults 18 to 45. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 106,000 people died in the U.S. as the result of a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending November 2021, with opioid-related deaths accounting for 75 percent of all overdose deaths. A report from the Mississippi Opioid and Heroin Data Collaborative showed that drug overdose deaths in Mississippi rose by 49 percent in one year (2019-2020).”

According to ODFree.org, the household medicine cabinet is one of the most common sources of drugs behind overdoses.

“The misuse of pharmaceuticals is a huge health problem throughout the country,” Warren County Sherrif Martin Pace said. “Many times a young person’s access to these narcotic pain medications is right in the medicine cabinet in their own home.”

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, 372 tons of material were collected from 62 collection sites across the state during last year’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events.

“I would encourage people to go through their medicine cabinets,” Pace said. “Any pharmaceuticals that they are not currently using, bring them to one of the disposal sites where they will be collected, turned over to the DEA, and destroyed in an eco-friendly incinerator.”