Fall prescription drug take back event set Oct. 28 in Lebanon

LEBANON, Missouri- The Lebanon Police Department says on Sat., Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. their agency , the Laclede County Health Department, Laclede County Drug Council and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 14th opportunity in seven 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 Lebanon Police Department Parking Lot at 401 South Jefferson. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Locally, more than 229 pounds were collected during the spring event according to Lebanon Police Chief Randy Halstead. Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills, police say.

The 28th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy is located in the foyer of the 28th Medical Group and safely provides medications to more than 33,000 beneficiaries a year. Prescriptions are first provided to the pharmacy electronically, faxed or brought in in paper form, and are activated by checking in at the counter or calling in. Once activated, labels are printed off for processing and dispensed prior to being put into a bottle. Finally, the pharmacist verifies that the number of pills inside the bottle coincides with the quantity annotated on the label before storing it for pickup. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker/Released)

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. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including 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 Oct. 28 Take Back Day event, contact the Lebanon Police Department at (417) 532-3131.