Drug effort nets five tons of meds
By The Herald Staff | 11/1/2013
TOPEKA – Kansans turned in nearly 5 tons of medications during last weekend’s National Drug Take-Back Day, Derek Schmidt said Friday.
Local law enforcement officials collected 9,777 pounds of medications at 104 locations across the state, according to Schmidt, Kansas attorney general. The semi-annual event was sponsored nationwide by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which collects and safely destroys the medications. This year’s total was the highest amount ever collected in Kansas during a take-back day. More than 22 tons of medications have been collected in Kansas since the program began in 2010.
“Safely disposing of these medications means that they are no longer susceptible to accidental or intentional misuse,” Schmidt said. “Kansans clearly recognize the importance of making sure these medications don’t fall into the wrong hands.”
Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse, according to the Kansas Attorney General’s Office.
“Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs,” Schmidt’s office said. “Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that traditional methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — pose potential safety and health hazards and should be avoided.
Unused prescriptions can be turned in year-round at many local law enforcement locations, including the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, 305 S. Main St., Ottawa, where a collection bin in the sheriff’s office lobby is accessible at any time.