The Palestine Police Department is joining forces with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to host a prescription pill disposal this Saturday, Oct. 24.
This event marks the DEA’s 19th nationwide event since its inception 10 years ago and addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.
According to Chief Mark Harcrow, the rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States is alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
“Often times people end up with a large quantity of old prescriptions they cannot take, Harcrow said. This program gives people and opportunity to safely discard the medications and prevents the drugs form ending up in the wrong hands.”
In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines, by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, pose potential safety and health hazards.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, locals can bring their pills and patches for disposal to Walmart, 2223 S Loop 256 in Palestine. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
They cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches.
Last year, Americans turned in nearly 883,000 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, has now collected nearly 6,350 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010.
To keep everyone safe, collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.
In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day, including the 11,000 authorized collectors that are available all year long.
For more information, visit DEA’s year-round collection site locator.
The FDA also provides information on how to properly dispose of prescription drugs. More information is available at fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/where-and-how-dispose-unused-medicines.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Oct. 24 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com or call the Palestine Police Community Liaison, Michele Herbert, at 903-731-8418.