PRINCETON — Residents from all over the county took part in Saturday’s National Prescription Take-Back Day.
People looking to get rid of unwanted or unused drugs from their medicine cabinets had the chance to drop them off at various collection locations throughout the county.
On Monday, Dawn Conerton, director of CPASA (Community Partners Against Substance Abuse), reported 465 pounds of pills were received.
“That’s quite a bit,” she said. “After emptying out the permanent collection boxes after six months, along with what we collected during the one-day event, that’s a lot of pills. Think of all those pills.”
Compared to years in the past, Conerton did note the amount was lower but is hopeful that means more people know about the permanent sites where they can drop their pills off at any time throughout the year, and because people have already given what they had in their cabinets in years past.
Since the first collection box in Bureau County went up in July 2010, around 7,033 pounds of pill have been collected.
“It’s wonderful because think about it, we’re keeping those pills out of wrong hands and keeping people safe, so they don’t take the pills irresponsibly or illegally,” Conerton said.
Conerton said she met a lady this weekend at the collection site who explained how enthused she was about the collection day because many years ago residents were told to flush the pills in the toilet.
“By doing this collection we’re also keeping them out of the water supply. We’re keeping people safe, and we’re educating about the dangers of prescription drugs if they get into the wrong hands,” Conerton continued.
CPASA member Terry Madsen explained the take-back day is important because prescription drug abuse is one of the most important emerging concerns.
“Prescription drug abuse wasn’t on the radar until a few years back. Now they are starting to realize there are a lot of people out there who are abusing them in a lot of ways,” he said. “There are so many people out there who are prescribed pain killers for one thing, but take the pills for something else or give them away to friends. There is a concern there, and we have to pay closer attention to what’s going on with prescription drugs.”
The pills collected on Saturday will be taken by a DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) representative who will dispose of the pills at a location where they will be incinerated.
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