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Drug Take-Back Program Encourages Safe Prescription Drug Disposal

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 09 Aug 2012 04:51pm | comments

The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics has launched a program to help reduce the abuse of prescription drugs.  MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports how  drug take back programs encourage safe drug disposal.

Everyday pharmacists across Mississippi fill thousands of prescription medications.  Many of these drugs may not be used and end up in medicine cabinets, or in the hands of someone who may abuse them.  The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics is encouraging residents to drop off  their unwanted medications at various locations across the state. One of those drop off points yesterday was the Rankin county Sheriff’s Department.    

“There’s no questions asked, just bring it in drop it off and we’ll be glad to destroy it for them.”

Studies show that more than 70 percent of Americans misusing pain killers get them from a family member or friend. It's a statistic that Rankin County, Sheriff Bryan Bailey agrees with.

“A lot of times we’ll arrest teens and young adults and everything and ask them you know where they got their drugs and a lot of em got em from mom and dad’s medicine cabinet or grandmas medicine cabinet. And you may have somebody in the family you know had back surgery and got a prescription for hydrcodone or oxycotton or something like that and they don’t take all the pills and they just sit there for years. Well you know somebody can go grab those and use them to go get high with.”

While crime prevention  is a key factor for the drug take back program --- the possibility of accidental poisonings and environmental damage are why Pearl resident Jeannine Eaton dropped off a bag full of her husband’s old medications.

“If you discard it in the bathroom then it will pollute the lakes and streams and we don’t want that in Mississippi.”

Even though the Bureau of Narcotics medicine take back program is a one day event, Lester Haley, a pharmacist with Beemon Drugs in Jackson says many pharmacies in Mississippi routinely dispose of unwanted medications.

“We’re a disposal site for drugs. We can accept any kind of outdated medications from anywhere as long as it’s not a controlled substance.”

Experts say medicine take back programs are the only secure and environmentally sound way to dispose of leftover and expired medications. Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.

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