Drug Take Back events set for Saturday

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cassville, Monett police departments accepting unwanted prescription drugs

A number of prescription drug take back events has been set for Saturday.

The Cassville Police Department, in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Agency, will host Prescription Take Back Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The seventh opportunity in three years to return prescription drugs will be held at the council chamber and courtroom at the back entrance of Cassville City Hall, located at 300 Main St.

The Barry County Health Department and Monett Police Department are also partnering for the eighth semi-annual Drug Take Back Day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at Old Town Pharmacy, located on Highway 60 in Monett. A permanent drop-box is also located in the lobby at the Monett Police Department. Residents are able to drop medications off at that location anytime.

Leesa Ginther, R.N., said the area residents can take this opportunity to rid their homes of outdated or unused medications, which will be safely disposed of by incineration.

Items accepted at the event include prescription or over-the-counter drugs that may be expired, unused, unwanted or potentially dangerous. Illegal drugs, inhalers or sharp objects, like syringes, will not be accepted.

"The coalition continues to increase the awareness of the importance to dispose of unwanted and expired medications," Ginther said. "It is 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."

In April of 2013, Americans turned in 371 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and thousands of its state and local law enforcement partners. Since they began, take back events have netted over 2.8 million pounds of prescription drugs.

According to the Cassville Police Department, the take back initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, as medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.

"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," said Dana Kammerlohr, Cassville police chief. "Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicinal cabinet."

Kammerlohr said it is also discouraged to flush such drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, as this may pose health and safety hazards.

The DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the controlled Substances Act to allow disposal by delivery to entities authorized by the Attorney General.

For more information on the Cassville Prescription Take Back Day, people may call the department at 417-847-4441.

For more information on the Drug Take Back event in Monett, people may call Ginther at 417-354-8402.

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