Some of the prescription drugs accepted by the Wetumpka Police Department at a previous Drug Take-Back event. Photo by Peggy Blackburn
Some of the prescription drugs accepted by the Wetumpka Police Department at a previous Drug Take-Back event. Photo by Peggy Blackburn

WPD to join in Drug Take-Back event

Published 3:03pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Wetumpka Police Department will be among the agencies nationwide participating in the sixth Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, set for April 27. Wetumpka Police Chief Celia Dixon said people can drop off unwanted or expired medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the intake table that will be set up in the Walmart parking lot.
“We encourage citizens to bring their outdated, unused prescriptions to us for us to destroy,” said Wetumpka Police Chief Celia Dixon. “Our goal is to keep these type of drugs out of harm’s way for children. We can not stress enough the dangers of having medication around children who may or may not be supervised.”
The program is confidential and no personal information is collected. Those who bring medications for disposal are asked to remove or black out labels; or the police department will remove labels, Dixon said.
“This drop off point is not only for the citizens of Wetumpka, but for anyone who has medication they need to dispose of,” she added. “If you are not able to join us that day, you may drop you medication off prior to the event at the police department. We will not accept medication after the event as it must be transported to another location.”
The DEA, in partnership with local-level groups, has organized five previous take-back days across the country. The Wetumpka Police Department participated in April and September 2012.
The combined national results of the five previous Take-Back Days were the removal of more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription drugs. State, local, and tribal law enforcement and the DEA partnered in the effort.
“This speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted, unused or expired prescription drugs,” said Dixon. “Until new laws are passed, law enforcement is the only entity that can help citizens legally and safely dispose of these drugs.”
The national effort is aimed at preventing medications from causing harm to others and to the environment. The collection program reduces the chance of medicines being used at youth parties or entering the water supply. It also focuses on the problem of prescription drug misuse.
According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs. That same study revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.
If anyone has questions about the local Take-Back event, call the Wetumpka Police Department at 334-567-5321

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