Your drugs, no questions asked
News · April 26, 2013

On April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the West Branch Police Department, in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration, will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring your medications for disposal to West Branch City Hall at 110 N. Poplar St.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Last September, Americans turned in over 488,000 pounds — over 244 tons — of prescription drugs to over 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners.

In its three previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in almost 2 million pounds — over 1,000 tons — of pills.

In West Branch alone, more than 30 residents took advantage of the event last fall and turned in more than 52 pounds of unwanted drugs.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. 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,” read a West Branch Police press release. “Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends."

That includes medicine from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.”

Until new regulations are in place to facilitate safe and easy disposal of these drugs, local law enforcement agencies like the West Branch Police Department and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events approximately twice per year, read the release.

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