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Cleaning out the medicine cabinets

Published: Monday, April 22, 2013 3:48 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 3:56 p.m. CDT

PRINCETON — Spring cleaning comes in all shapes and forms, and this year the Community Partners Against Substance Abuse (CPASA) has joined with area law enforcement agencies to help Bureau County residents clean their homes of unwanted and expired prescription drugs.

On Friday, CPASA coordinator Dawn Conerton announced this Saturday, April 27, has been designated as the National Take Back Initiative as established by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

In Bureau County, unwanted and expired prescription medications can be brought on Saturday to the Princeton Police Department at 605 Elm Place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; the Buda Police Department at 105 W. Main St. from 8 a.m. to noon; and the Wyanet Police Department at 101 S. Maple St. from 9 a.m. to noon. The Take Back service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked, Conerton said.

The National Take Back Initiative is held each spring and fall around the country, Conerton said. Last September, 244 tons of prescription drugs were collected at more than 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. To date, in its five previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have collected more than two million pounds of pills.

CPASA has partnered with area law enforcement agencies in a local collection since July 2010, Conerton said. Since that time, 2,800 pounds of unwanted and expired medications have been collected locally. The collected pills are picked up by DEA representatives and are incinerated, Conerton said.

These collection days are important to the entire community, Conerton said. Environmentally, this is a much better way to handle the unwanted and expired medications, rather than flushing them into sewer and water systems. Also, this is the right way to get rid of the unwanted medications so they don’t get into the hands of the wrong person, she said.

In addition to the twice-annual Take Back days, CPASA has also partnered with area law enforcement agencies in starting a Prescription Drug Disposal Program, called P2D2, with year-round locations at the Princeton Police Department, Bureau County Sheriff’s Office and Jail, Spring Valley Police Department, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Ladd Police Department and Walnut Police Department.

More information on the Take Back Imitative and the local P2DF2 program is available by contacting Conerton at 815-872-5091, ext. 224, or by visiting the CPASA’s website at www.cpasa.org.

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