On Saturday, April 28, the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 15th opportunity in 7 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office from 10 a.m. till 12 noon. A white drop box is located just inside the lobby door to the Sheriff’s Office. We will also be in Mallard in front of the Fire Department from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and in West Bend in front of City Hall from 10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Just look for the Sheriff’s patrol vehicle at each of these locations.
If the times above do not allow you to participate and you would still like to dispose of your medications, please give the Sheriff’s Office a call at 712-852-3535 and ask for Sheriff Schultes. I would be more than happy to make arrangements to assist you. Just remember, the white box in the Sheriff’s Office is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year to drop off your medications here. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last fall Americans turned in 456 tons (912,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,300 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 14 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 9 million pounds—more than 4,500 tons—of pills. On the local side the Sheriff’s Office collected 14 lbs. in October of 2017, but since we began participating in April of 2012 we collected 181 lbs. of medications.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. 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. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen 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.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 28 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com.