Missouri still number one in take back efforts

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Once again the state of Missouri collected the largest amount of prescription medications in the Drug Enforcement Agency's St. Louis Division during the National Take Back Initiative, which was held on Sept. 29.

Missouri collected 17,208 pounds of medications during the latest prescription drug take back initiative. The local effort, which was conducted by the Cassville Police Department, gathered over 75 pounds of medication.

Prescription drugs submitted during take back events in Missouri accounted for nearly half of the total 38,300 pounds collected in the St. Louis Division. The metropolitan area of St. Louis collected 9,184 pounds and the metropolitan area of Kansas City collected 5,192 pounds of prescription drugs.

Nebraska had the second largest total with 6,203 pounds of medication collected. Other states contributing to the total were: Kansas, 5,334 pounds; Iowa, 4,399 pounds; southern judicial district of Illinois, 3,929 pounds; and South Dakota, 1,227 pounds.

"In 2011, there were roughly 900,000 fewer chronic abusers of prescription drugs compared to 2010," said Cassville Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr. "That translates to a roughly 12 percent drop.

"We know that 54 percent of chronic prescription narcotic abusers get their meds from friends or family for free or in other words, the medicine chest," continued Kammerlohr. "Your participation shrinks that source of supply and it seems your efforts are bearing fruit. You are making a difference in your communities."

The National Take Back Inititiative collected 488,395 pounds or 244 tons of prescription drugs during the September event. Over two million pounds of medication have been collected nation wide since the effort began in September of 2010. The St. Louis Division contributed 154,314 pounds of prescription medication to the total.

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