Drug Take Back event is Saturday

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The sixth semi-annual Drug Take Back event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at at the Cassville City Hall and Old Town Pharmacy in Monett.

The event is sponsored by the Cassville Police Department, Barry County Connections Coalition, Old Town Pharmacy and the Monett Police Department.

The effort is part of a national campaign to decrease pill abuse and theft. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and government, community, public health and law enforcement partners will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal. Sharp items or needles are not accepted.

The event allows for proper disposal of medications through incineration. It allows local residents to clean out their medicine cabinets and rid the household of any potentially harmful medications that are no longer being used.

This reduces the risk of prescription drugs entering the water, potentially harming aquatic life or getting into a human water supply. Take Back programs reduce the risk of prescription drugs being consumed inappropriately, either by accident or through illegal sale.

Widespread anecdotal and survey evidence indicates that a huge portion of illegal prescription drug use occurs when people raid friends' and relatives' medicine cabinets.

"This will be our sixth semi-annual Take Back event and each time we get more participants," said Leesa Ginther, Barry County Public health nurse. "During our first event in October 2010, we had less than three pounds returned. Last year we had well over 100 pounds of medications turned in with the two events.

"The coalition continues to increase the awareness of the importance to dispose of unwanted and expired medications," Ginther continued. "It is just so important to keep these medications out of the hands of our youth and out of our environment. Most people don't realize 56 percent of prescription drugs abused by young people come from a friend or family member's medicine cabinet."

Ginther stated organizers hope to place a permanent box located at the Monett Police Department. The community would be able to drop medications off anytime.

For more information on the program, call Leesa Ginther at 417-354-8686.

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