Police chief reports on Drug Take-Back Day

FLINT TWP. — Township police not only supported the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in its 14th National Drug Prescription Take Back Day on October 28, they are actively engaged year-round with a drop-box in the lobby that is open around the clock.

Most recently, township police turned over to the DEA 198 pounds of collected prescription drugs, said Police Chief George Sippert, in a report to the township board of trustees.

To give perspective, he said that is equal to about 16 full grocery bags. He also noted that the weight is for the drugs alone, not the packaging.

October 28 was the DEA” s 14th sponsored Take-Back Day in the past several years.

The township police department has maintained its lobby drop-off box for several years.

“It is of real value for our community to do that,” Chief Sippert said.

One trend he has noticed is that some local doctors’ offices find it easier to drop expired drug samples off at the drop-box rather than have to pay someone to collect and properly dispose of it.

The DEA handles disposal of drugs collected in the drop-box, Chef Sippert said.

The DEA holds the Prescription Take- Back Days to prevent pill abuse and theft by giving people a safe place to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, according to a DEA press release. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that 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 their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Last April, Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners, the DEA reported. Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills.

The DEA hosted the first National Prescription Drug Take-Back events in 2010. Complete results for DEA’s fall Take Back Day are available at www.deatakeback.com. DEA’s next Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 28, 2018.

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