Local law enforcement participates in Drug Take Back Day

Published 3:39 pm Wednesday, October 31, 2018

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

The Drug Enforcement Agency partners with local law enforcement agencies across the country to host Take Back Day, once in the spring and again in the fall.

According to the DEA’s website dedicated to the event, takebackday.dea.gov, Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths by turning in unwanted, unneeded or expired medication to authorities for proper disposal. The event focuses on prescription drugs, but generally over-the-counter medications will be taken as well.

Members of the Clanton Police Department were at CVS on Oct. 27 in order to allow local residents to participate in Take Back Day.

According to Capt. David Clackley with CPD, 13.5 pounds of medication were collected.

“(Take Back Day) gives people a way to get rid of expired medication that could be lying around,” he said. “A lot of people contact us each year worried about what to do with it.”

Clackley said properly disposing of expired or otherwise unwanted medication may help prevent such items form being misused.

“There are a lot of people who try to get ahold of prescription medication to get high,” he said. “We have a lot of juveniles that take prescription drugs to experiment, and this gives them one less opportunity and helps keep that from happening.”

The DEA had 4,683 local law enforcement agencies around the country participate in the Take Back Day that was held in April, according to the website. 949,046 pounds, or 474.5 tons, of medication were collected for proper disposal nationwide.

“We are just trying to do our part,” Clackley said. “You never know; this might keep someone from experimenting or overdosing.”

“The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue,” says the website. “According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused 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.

“Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. That’s dangerous and often tragic. That’s why it was great to see thousands of folks from across the country clean out their medicine cabinets and turn in — safely and anonymously — a record amount of prescription drugs.”