National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 28

Northeast Alabama
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SCOTTSBORO, Ala. -  Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and that means you can turn in any unwanted medications safely, no questions asked.

More than 450 tons of prescription drugs were turned in last October nationwide. This Saturday - April 28 - the nation has a chance to do it again. "Twice a year DEA does a national event where they take back prescription drugs, unused, unneeded, expired medications, and dispose of them properly," said Jackson County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is a drop off location. "Over the last several years, I think it's been the last seven years, we've taken in over 3,000 pounds worth of prescription medications during these drug take backs," Harnen said.

Flushing the medications can pose an environmental risk, and putting them in the trash could put them into young hands. A drug take back day is a good way to get rid of them safely. "This is the proper way to get rid of it. DEA collects all of these boxes, they incinerate them, get rid of them properly," Harnen explained.

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs, and a majority of the medications came from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. Law enforcement officials say drug abuse can lead to theft crimes. "Any time people get involved with drug use they need money to buy those drugs, so they'll go to stealing things from family or friends or neighbors," Harnen said.

The event gives people the opportunity to get rid of unwanted medications so they can get into the right hands instead of the wrong ones. The take back event is from ten to two on Saturday. You can check with your local law enforcement agency to see if it is participating as a drop off location.

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