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Police Departments, Health Agencies Join Forces to Support Drug Take-Back Day


Residents in Morgan and Scott counties can turn in expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs at three locations as part of national Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 26.

Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the day provides an opportunity for people to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Local residents can dispose of their prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at the following sites: Jacksonville Police Department, 200 W. Douglas Ave.; South Jacksonville Police Department, 1810 Sequoia Drive; and Scott County Health Department, 335 W. Cherry St., Winchester.

At a Drug Take-Back Day last April, more than 100 pounds of prescription drugs were dropped off at the Jacksonville Police Department.

The service is free and anonymous; no questions will be asked. Medications may be left in their packaging. The sites cannot accept liquids or needles, only pills or patches.

Staff with the Jacksonville Police Department and with Memorial Behavioral Health-Jacksonville will be in the police department’s parking lot, where people can drive up and hand over their prescription medicine. People who arrive after the designated collection hours can discard their unused medications in a 24/7 drop box in the Jacksonville Police Department lobby.

Drop boxes are also available during business hours at Scott County Health Department; Walgreens, 1802 W. Morton Ave., Jacksonville; and CVS, 936 Main St., Jacksonville.

 “The majority of misused and abused drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet,” Jacksonville Police Chief Adam Mefford said. “Drug Take-Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.”

Memorial Behavioral Health-Jacksonville will distribute informational materials on medication safety and behavioral health at the Jacksonville Police Department.

 “Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs,” Patti Torchia, manager of Memorial Behavioral Health-Jacksonville, said. “Medicines that are left to sit in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.”

The usual methods by which many people dispose of drugs – flushing them down toilets or throwing them in the trash – pose safety and health hazards and are not good for the environment, Torchia said.

Last year, Americans turned in more than 900,000 pounds of prescription drugs at sites operated by the DEA and state and local law enforcement.