Spring Cleaning Calls Again After Iowans Take Back Over 19 Tons of Medication in 2018
Iowans are pitching in more than ever to help prevent prescription drug misuse and environmental contamination by properly disposing of their unused medicine. A new survey by the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) and data from the Iowa Board of Pharmacy (IBP) found year-round prescription drug Take Back collections at local law enforcement centers and community pharmacies, when combined with the two special DEA-sponsored one-day events, netted more than 19 tons of leftover medication during all of 2018. Iowans have another opportunity to Take Back at the next DEA Take Back Day on April 27.
“The fact that Iowans ‘took back’ enough unused medicine to equal over 16 years of garbage waste from a single household last year is impressive when you consider most products come in small pills or packages,” said Dale Woolery, Director of ODCP. “Residents of our state participate in DEA-sponsored one-day prescription drug Take Back events at a rate 28% above the national average, which also shows many Iowans are actively working to be part of the solution when it comes to preventing opioid and other prescription drug misuse.”
“We intend to continue to work with our fellow stakeholders in Iowa Take Back—including the ODCP and the DEA—to build upon the success of the Take Back program,” said Jennifer Tiffany with the IBP. “We hope to prevent both opioid and prescription drug misuse and environmental contamination.” Last year, over a quarter-billion doses of controlled prescription drugs were dispensed in Iowa, along with many more medicines.
The IBP funds placement of medication disposal receptacles in local Iowa pharmacies, and the ODCP works with local law enforcement. Operated as independent local public services, Iowa’s permanent prescription drug Take Back sites have grown in number to 239 locations throughout the State, including in every county. Those sites and DEA Take Back information can be found at https://odcp.iowa.gov/rxtakebacks.
Locally the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office collected 24 pounds on the last Drug Take Back program on October 27, 2018. Since April of 2012, the first Drug Take Back program the Sheriff’s Office participated in, 239 pounds has been collected and sent to the DEA for incineration from Palo Alto County.
April 27, 2019 will be our next Drug Take Back collection day. You can drop off expired or unwanted medications at the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office front lobby at 2001 11th Street in Emmetsburg. You can do this every day of the year and at any hour as we have a permanent drop box at the Sheriff’s Office.
Hope to see you Saturday!
Sheriff Lynn J Schultes