Drug take back day

Published 3:31 pm Friday, April 27, 2018

The Kentucky State Police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) are partnering on Saturday to encourage citizens to remove potentially dangerous medicines from their homes and dispose of them safely.

“National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and health issue by providing a convenient way for citizens to help prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths,” says KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders.

Collection activities will take place from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. on April 28 at 16 locations throughout the state. Locally, the collection site is at Post 10 Harlan. The address is 3319 US 421 South. Locations are also listed on the KSP website at http://kentuckystatepolice.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/49/2018/04/2018POSTTBL.pdf

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“Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands,” he notes. “That’s dangerous and often tragic. This event gives people the opportunity to turn in their prescription drugs safely and anonymously.”

Leftover or expired drugs can be harmful in a variety of ways, says Sanders. Out-of-date medications can degrade and lose their effectiveness. They can pose environmental pollution to water supplies if disposed of improperly. They can be accidently ingested by children, stolen, misused and abused.

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

“Cleaning out old prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers and bedside tables can help reduce the diversion, misuse and abuse of these substances, including opioid painkillers,” says Sanders. “When in doubt, throw it out.”

Last year, citizens across the U.S. safely disposed of 456 tons of unneeded medications during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. KSP collected 1,648 pounds during two take back events.

KSP spokesperson Sgt. Josh Lawson advised that the program is designed to be easy for citizens and offered the following tips for those interested in participating:

● Participants may dispose of medication in its original container or by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into the disposal box located at the drop off location.

● All solid dosage pharmaceutical products and liquids in consumer containers will be accepted. Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain sealed in original containers. The depositor should ensure that the cap is tightly sealed to prevent leakage.

● Intravenous solutions, injectables and syringes will not be accepted due to potential hazard posed by blood-borne pathogens.

● Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection containers.

For more information about the Take Back program, contact KSP at 502-782-1780 or visit the DEA website at https://takebackday.dea.gov/