The Union Recorder

Local News

October 24, 2013

Turn-in day for unwanted prescription drugs

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Ocmulgee Drug Task Force (ODTF) along with the Milledgeville Police Department and the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office are taking back unwanted prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration this is the seventh opportunity in three years aimed at preventing pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Residents can bring medications for disposal to MPD at 125 W. McIntosh St. or to the BCSO at 119 Old Monticello Road in Milledgeville. The service is free and anonymous.

In April Americans turned in 371 tons of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners.

In all six previous Take Back events, agencies collected more than 1,400 tons of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and health issue, according to officials.

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Prescription drug abuse rates are high, as are accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

According to the DEA, studies show that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, which includes the home medicine cabinet.

Burglars often seek out excess prescription drugs lying around the home.

“You can make more money grabbing these pills than you can selling marijuana on the streets. This is the new big time drug out there,” the ODTF Commander Wesley Nunn said. “It’s hitting young and old people.”

These pills have a high propensity for addiction across all socioeconomic levels. 

People aren’t just popping a pill anymore. Some heat up the substance and are shooting them with needles.

ODTF officials call it the “new heroine.”

Nunn said the counties and cities served by the task force would also have turn-in boxes.

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