OFFICIALS ARE ‘TAKING BACK’ UNWANTED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS IN INYO COUNTY
April 4, 2013 – On April 27, from 10 am to 2 pm, the Inyo County Sheriff Department, Inyo Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the Inyo County residents their first ever opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to one of the three Inyo County collection sites. Collection Sites in Inyo County include… in Bishop, outside Kmart at 1200 N. Main St; in Lone Pine, outside McDonalds at 601 S. Main St; and in Tecopa at the Community Center. The take-back is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last September, Americans turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its five previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2 million pounds—over a thousand tons—of pills.
According to Sheriff Bill Lutze, local law enforcement have wanted to participate in this initiative for many years. “Most of us have prescription medication in our medicine cabinets that is out-of-date or we no longer have any use for. But, we keep it because we don’t know what to do with it. But finally this year, the people of Inyo County have a day and three locations in which to discard of this medicine safely.”
These take-back events address a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly vulnerable to redirection, 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 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.
Lutze agrees. “A medicine cabinet full of drugs can be an easy target for youth or other adults looking to experiment or to obtain an easy high. We hope this Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be the first step toward addressing this problem.”
Local officials and the DEA say on April 27th, nearly all unused drugs can be turned in.
And finally, Lutze describes how easy it is, “just remove all identifying information from the packaging or dump all your medication together into a bag, take to one of the locations listed below, and drop it into the collection box. It’s that simple…just look for the “GotDRUGS?” signs.”
BISHOP – outside KMART 1200 N. Main St.
LONE PINE – outside McDonald’s 601 S. Main St.
TECOPA – community center
FURNACE CREEK RANCH – education center
EXAMPLES OF WHAT YOU CAN TURN IN:
Controlled substance medications (scheduled drugs)
Non-controlled substance (Rx) medications
Over the counter medications
Syrups, ointments, creams and lotions
EXAMPLES OF WHAT YOU CAN’T:
Any sharps such as needles, syringes, or lancets
Any mercury or cadmium products such as thermometers and batteries
Disposable medical waste items such as IV bags, used bandages, gowns, or bio-hazardous items
Chemicals or disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide
Personal care products such as non-medicated shampoo