Safe drug disposal offered

Published 11:17 am Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Greenville Police Department and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office are marking National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day with a local drug take back program Saturday.

The GPD and the BCSO will have three collection sites set up in the county for the public to turn in unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs.

“Prescription drug abuse is a problem in our county and nationwide,” Sheriff Kenny Harden said. “At these collection points we’ll have boxes for people to drop the drugs into. There won’t be any questions asked. They won’t have to give any information. They can just discard of the drugs there.”

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The BCSO will operate collection sites at its office at the Butler County Courthouse and the McKenzie sub-station.

The GPD will operate a collection site at CVS in Greenville.

“This is a good program,” Chief Lonzo Ingram said. “A lot of people have prescription drugs that are expired or belonged to someone who has passed away, and sometimes they’ll flush those down the toilet, but a lot of times the unused pills just get stored away in a medicine cabinet. This is a good way to dispose of them safely, and we’re happy to be able to take part in the program.”

The program is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to combat the abuse or misuse of potentially dangerous medicines that have expired or are no longer needed for those whom these controlled substances were prescribed.

There will be more than 100 collection sites open across the state on Saturday.

Prescription Drug-Take Back events last spring were Alabama’s most successful ever, with more than 60 agencies collecting nearly 6,000 pounds of unwanted, expired or unused drugs in one day for proper disposal.  Throughout Alabama’s seven previous Prescription Drug Take-Back events, more than 24,000 pounds of unwanted, unused or expired drugs have been removed and disposed of safely.

“We have been encouraged by the continued positive response of agencies and citizens throughout Alabama who have responded with their support and participation,” said Attorney General Luther Strange. “This is an important and basic step to fight drug abuse and drug-related crimes, by assisting in the removal of potentially dangerous controlled substances from our homes.  Many of us have out-dated prescriptions that are too easily accessible to children and others.  These drugs can also be the target of home invasions and burglaries.  On (Saturday), we are asking the people of Alabama to protect their homes and communities by locating medicines that are out of date or no longer needed, and bringing them in for safe and proper disposal.”

Deliveries of drugs to Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events are confidential, with no personal information collected and no questions asked.  Participants are encouraged to remove labels or black-out information beforehand.

The collection sites in Butler County will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.