PPSO reclaiming drugs, safelyOct 19th, 2011 | By William Dilella | Category: news
October 29 is the scheduled, nationwide effort by the DEA and local law enforcement agencies to properly collect unused, forgotten or bad prescription drugs for disposal.
While many prescription medications are consumed during the normal course of treatment, those seemingly innocuous pills can pile up in medicine cabinets for months or years. And those medications, even before they go bad, can pose a significant risk to young children, or be a tempting treat for potential thieves.
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agencies (DEA) data, some 7 million Americans abused prescription drugs in 2009. The Center for Disease Control cites that drugs like opioids and anti-depressants are responsible for more overdose oriented deaths than cocaine, heroine or amphetamines, and pharmaceutical emergency room visits went up 97-percent from 2004-2008.
“This gets the word out,” said Gus Flair, who works with the Probate Court, handling the misdemeanor drug offenses and DUI’s. “To remind the public of any old prescriptions they might have left over… and to remove the temptation, especially from kids.”
The Plaquemines Sheriffs Office will participating in the DEA’s take-back. The Sheriff’s office will be at the Plaquemines Pharmacy on 8443 Highway 23 in Belle Chasse from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The important thing to remember, said Capt. Ty Wiltz, Chief of Narcotics, is that the program takes place on a, “No questions asked” basis.
Flair said the event is mainly about awareness. To make sure that those prescriptions that are unsafe for disposal at home are handled properly.
Last year some 376,000 pounds of prescription drugs were turned in to the events held nationwide by nearly 3,000 law enforcement agencies, according to the DEA’s data.
A list of the drugs safe and unsafe to put in with the regular home-trash are available on the DEA’s website (http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov). Also, the prescription pill bottle itself should have instructions on disposing of the contents. Most of the time, if there are no instructions, the contents can be safely disposed of in the garbage.
But that being said, the DEA recommends that the public take certain precautions before just dumping that bottle haphazardly in the trash can or down the sink. All pill bottles should have the labels removed to protect the identity of the person they were prescribed to. And before placing pills in the trash, you should mix the pills in with coffee grounds or other undesirable materials so that animals or children would not be inclined to consume them. For more tips, see the DEA’s web page.