Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday

OKEECHOBEE — The 12th annual Drug Take-Back Day, held locally by the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), will be held Saturday, Oct. 22, in Flagler Park.

This year’s event, co-sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will be held from 8 a.m. until noon.

The purpose of the event is to help prevent pill abuse and theft by letting people get rid of their potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs — with no questions asked.got-drugs

All you have to do is take your pills to Flagler Park, hand them over then leave. This service is free and you will remain anonymous.

It should be noted the DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps. They will only accept pills and patches.

According to information provided by the OCSO, Americans last April turned in 447 tons, or more than 893,000 pounds, of prescription drugs at almost 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

Overall, in its 11 previous Take-Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds — or, about 3,200 tons — of prescription pills.

The Take-Back program addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that are left in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends — including the home medicine cabinet.

Americans are now being told that their other methods of disposing of medicines — like flushing them down the toilet or throwing them into the trash — both pose potential safety, environmental and health hazards.

If you would like more information on the Take-Back initiative or the disposal of prescription drugs, got to the DEA Diversion website or visit okeesheriff.com.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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