Lieutenant Speaks About Importance of Drug Take-Back Programs

The Ellwood City Police Department is sponsoring a drug take-back program on Saturday, April 29 at the Ellwood City Municipal Building.

Residents may use the opportunity to turn in unused or expired medication for safe disposal, which the Ellwood City Police Lieutenant says is a critical step towards improving the growing amount of drug addictions.

“The importance of the program is that it takes away the ability to use prescription drugs from people who may be experimenting with them, especially the opioids,” Lt. Kingston said.

The program is part of the DEA and US Attorneys 360 Degree Program, which originally started in Pittsburgh and is expanding across the nation. The goal of the program is to combat the explosion of heroin and opioid addictions.

The 360 Degree Program focuses on three main areas to control the problem:

  • Enforcement – Actions that target drug trafficking organizations supplying opioids to neighborhoods. These efforts will include a strategy to specifically address those traffickers that supply opioids resulting in fatal and non-fatal overdoses.
  • Diversion Control – By engaging drug manufacturers, wholesalers, practitioners and pharmacists to increase awareness of the heroin and prescription drug problem and push for responsible prescribing and use of these medications throughout the medical community.
  • Community Outreach – By partnering with medical professionals, governmental and community service organizations to proactively educate the public of the dangers of prescription drug and heroin abuse, and to guide individuals to treatment services when needed.

Pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision and the majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinets.

Even medicines thought as harmless such as antibiotics, asthma medication, and several others prescribed and over the counter drugs can become ineffective and sometimes toxic (especially seen in antibiotics) after their expiration date and should never be kept or used past then.

Do not flush unused drugs because they contaminate water supply and drugs that are thrown away can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold.

The event runs tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m and although the take-back programs are the best way to dispose of old drugs, if you cannot make it or a take-back event is not available and you need to dispose of drugs, take the meds out of their bottles, mix them with something unappealing like used kitty litter or coffee grounds and seal them in a bag or disposable container and throw it away.

For more information on prescription drug abuse go to:

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