Drug Takeback Day Is Saturday

Northwest Iowa — Those little amberish-brown plastic bottles full of pills in your medicine cabinet probably need to be tossed out, but you shouldn’t just chuck them in the trash or down the toilet. But hanging onto them is also a bad idea — they could fall into the wrong hands and could be abused.

Those are the two main reasons for Prescription Drug Takeback Days, one of which is this Saturday, October 28th in the US. The Drug Enforcement Administration says that the idea is to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. You can take your pills for disposal to the Lyon County sheriff’s office lobby at 410 South Boone Street in Rock Rapids or the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at 309 Sixth Street in Sibley. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

The two sheriffs’ offices each have a prescription disposal container, available 24/7, plus many area pharmacies accept unwanted prescription drugs as well. Call your local pharmacy to see if they do.

Last April Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds — more than 4,050 tons — of pills. In 2016 the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office collected 37 pounds of unwanted prescriptions and has already collected over 50 pounds in 2017.

DEA officials say that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. They say rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, 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.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 28 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website.



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