Local law enforcement agencies will be participating today in a nationwide effort Saturday to rid homes of unwanted, unused or expired prescription medications.
This is the second year for the Take Back Initiative that is coordinated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) office in Lexington.
Madison County residents can dispose of the medications between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at drop-off locations located at the Richmond and Berea police departments and the Kentucky State Police Post 7 on the Eastern Bypass.
“We had good community participation in last year’s program,” said Richmond Police Chief Larry Brock. “We took in somewhere around 27 pounds of expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications.”
KSP collected 389 pounds of prescription drugs during the first Take Back program last year.
KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer encouraged citizens to take advantage of this opportunity to rid their home of expired or unwanted prescription medications.
“Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem and Kentucky has been identified as a hot spot for this type of activity,” said Brewer. “The unique aspect of this initiative is that it is free and anonymous. No requests for identification will be made to anyone bringing medications in to KSP Posts.”
RPD is in the process of establishing a permanent drop box at the station so that such pharmaceuticals can be deposited at any time.
“That should be operational sometime within the next couple of months,” Brock said.
The Berea Police Department and Madison County Sheriff’s Office also are participating in the Take Back Initiative.
“They will be set up in the parking lot at the Berea Police Department during the same time period to take back the drugs on the south end of the county,” Brock said.
Drop-offs made at the Richmond and Berea police department also will be anonymous.
The program is vital to the community because of the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse, Brock said.
“Abusers tend to get the drugs where they can and often that is from the medicine chests of friends and family,” the chief said. “At one time or another, most of us have probably had a bottle of prescription medication that was not totally consumed and just left setting around the house. This provides the opportunity for chronic users or curious young people to access the drugs and abuse them.”
Call the Richmond Police Department at 623-1162, the Kentucky State Police Post 7 at 623-2404 or the Berea Police Department at 986-8456 for more details about today’s event.
Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@
richmondregister.com or 624-6608.