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CPASA: Get rid of old medicines

Published: Monday, April 21, 2014 3:34 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 21, 2014 3:37 p.m. CDT

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PRINCETON — It’s time again for residents in Bureau and Putnam counties, as well as people across the country, to clear their homes of unwanted and expired prescription medicines.

For the eighth time in the last four years, the Community Partners Against Substance Abuse (CPASA) and area police departments are partnering with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to collect unwanted, expired, and unused prescription drugs as part of the national Take-Back Day, set for this Saturday, April 26.

CPASA coordinator Dawn Conerton said Saturday’s Take Back Day is another opportunity for people to prevent potential pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

The local response and support for the Take Back Day, along with the ongoing local Prescription Pill Drug Disposal (P2D2) program, has been amazing from both Bureau and Putnam counties, Conerton said. To date, more than 5,500 pounds of prescription drugs have been collected locally since the P2D2 program began in July 2010, she said.

People can bring their unwanted medicines in their pill bottles or containers, or they can also take the pills out of the bottles and put them in a baggy, whatever is easiest for them to do, Conerton said. People also need to note Saturday’s collection will also be for pet/animal medicines.

Looking at the need for these collection days, Conerton said it is important for people to clean out their medicine cabinets, get rid of expired or unused medicine and to dispose of those medicines properly.

“We ask everyone to please not flush their medicine down the toilet or throw it in the trash. This is not an environmentally safe way to dispose of medicine,” Conerton said. “Also, these Take Back Days help to keep expired and unused medicine out of the wrong hands, so no one can abuse or sell them.”

Conerton said the Take-Back Day service is free and anonymous with no questions asked.

Since the start of the Take-Back Day program, the DEA and its state, local and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed more 3.4 million pounds (1,733 tons) of medication from circulation. At its most recent collection in October, there were a total of 5,683 take-back sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

If people can not make it on Saturday to a local Take-Back Day collection site, CPASA also has the ongoing P2D2 with locations at the Princeton Police Department, Bureau County Sheriff’s Department Jail, Spring Valley Police Department, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Ladd Police Department and Walnut Police Department.

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Collection points for Saturday's Take-Back Day

• Princeton Police Department at 605 Elm Place, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Buda Police Department at 105 W. Main St., from 8 a.m. to noon.

• Granville Police Department at 316 S. McCoy St., from 10 a.m. to noon.

• Tiskilwa Police Department at 135 N. High St., from 9 a.m. to noon.

• Walnut Police Department at 114 Jackson St., from 9 a.m. to noon.

• Wyanet Police Department at 101 S. Maple St., from 9 a.m. to noon.

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