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‘Take-Back Day’

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PRINCETON — Bureau County has gotten a bit cleaner and potentially safer, thanks to Saturday’s National Prescription Take-Back Day in Princeton.

On Monday, Princeton Deputy Police Chief Alan Beaber said Saturday’s collection resulted in six full boxes of unwanted and expired medicines.

The medicines were brought to the police station by individuals as well as businesses, such as pharmacies and veterinarian clinics.

The medicines will be taken to Sterling for further transportation and disposal.

The Princeton Police Department has partnered for two years with the Community Partners Against Substance Abuse (CPASA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in sponsoring National Prescription Take-Back Day programs at the Princeton Police Department.

In looking at the importance of the collection days, Beaber said the proper disposal of unwanted and expired medicines is important to keep them out of the hands of children and young people.

Beaber said most parents are well-informed about child-proofing their homes to keep their young children safe, but parents also need to be aware of monitoring medicines and other items within the home, which could be abused by their teens.

The proper disposal of medicines is also important to protect the environment. People may think that flushing prescription medicines down the toilet is the safest method of disposal, but that is a wrong assumption because it puts medicines back into the soil and water systems.

During the past two years, the Princeton Police Department and CPASA have collected about 1,500 pounds of medicines during their Take-Back Days, which are held each October and April.

Michelle Leonhart, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency, said 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.

To date nationwide, the Take-Back Day events have removed 995,185 pounds of medication from circulation, reducing prescription drug abuse and raising awareness of this as a public health issue, Leonhart said.

In addition to the semi-annual Take-Back Day events, the Princeton Police Department and CPASA have also established a P2D2 (Prescription Disposal Program), with collection receptacles placed in the lobbies of the Princeton Police Department, Bureau County Sheriff’s Department, Spring Valley Police Department and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department. People can deposit their unwanted or expired medicines in those collection receptacles throughout the year, Beaber said.

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