The official National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day was last weekend and several departments in the region collected prescription drugs for destruction, but this weekend’s event in Villa Rica is an opportunity for those who missed those events to still safely dispose of those medications.
Police Chief Michael Mansour explained that the day is a win-win event for both the police department and the public.
“It helps prevent these drugs from being on the street where they’re left around the house for kids to get hold of them and either selling them or using them,” he said. “This is an avenue to get rid of them. The old way to get rid of them was to flush them down the toilet or throw them in the trash and that’s not the optimal way to get rid of them. We’d rather them bring them to us to let us destroy them.”
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Villa Rica Police Department. The collected drugs will be subsequently destroyed to keep them out of circulation.
VRPD has collected nearly 100 pounds of prescription drugs during similar events held in the past.
For those who can’t make it on Saturday, VRPD Capt. Keith Shaddix explained that the department actually collects out-of-date prescription drugs all year from the public. Thus far this year, the department has collected three pounds of prescription drugs in this manner.
The local effort is part of a broader national program of the Drug Enforcement Agency, which collected 377,086 pounds, or 188.5 tons, during an event held last fall in which more than 5,000 take-back sites participated in all 50 states. During the last 13 months, DEA reports that a total of nearly one million pounds of unused or unwanted prescription drugs have been taken out of circulation nationwide through these events.
“The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the past three Take-Back Day events speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs,” DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said in a press release. “DEA remains hard at work to establish just such a drug disposal process, and will continue to offer take-back opportunities until the proper regulations are in place.”