Lincoln – Think drug addictions stem from street drugs? Actually, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends – often when someone else’s medication is stolen from the home medicine cabinet.
On Oct. 27, Drug Take-back Day, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the U.S. Department of Justice and other partners urge consumers to take all unused prescription pills and patches (liquids, needles and sharps cannot be accepted) to a collection spot. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. While official Drug Take-back Days are held twice yearly – in April and November – every day can be a drug take-back day, noted Sheri Dawson, director of the Division of Behavioral Health at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
“In April, Americans turned in 474.5 tons (912,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,600 of its state and local law enforcement partners,” said Dawson. “Nebraska is rallying to help the October Take-back Day reach its goal of collecting more than a million pounds this weekend. We know Take-back Day will continue to proactively address prescription abuse and misuse and reduce the avenues available for obtaining these drugs.” Overall, in its 14 previous Take-back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 9 million pounds—more than 4,500 tons—of pills.
“This initiative helps address a public safety and public health issue,” said Susan Strohn, deputy director of the Division of Public Health at DHHS. “Medicines that languish in home cabinets can be susceptible to theft, unintentional misuse and abuse. It is important to dispose of them properly.”
The following locations will accept medications between 10 am and 2 pm on Saturday, Oct. 27:
· Antelope County Sheriff’s Office, 1102 L St., Neligh
· Blair Police Department, 1730 Lincoln St., Blair
· Box Butte County Sheriff’s Office at Box Butte General Hospital, Sand Hills Room, 2101 Box Butte Ave., Alliance
· Brown County Sheriff’s Office, 142 W. 4th St., Ainsworth
· Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office at Kearney Good Samaritan Hospital, 10 E. 31st St., Kearney
· Dawes County Sheriff Karl Dailey’s office, 451 Main St., Chadron
· Deuel County Sheriff’s Office, Satellite Office, 302 Pine St., Big Springs
· Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Courthouse, 405 15th Ave., Franklin
· Fremont Police Department, Lobby, 725 N. Park Ave., Fremont
· Fremont Police Department, Baker’s store parking lot, 1531 N. Bell St., Fremont
· Gage County Sheriff’s Office, 612 Lincoln St., Beatrice
· Holdrege Police Department, Holdrege Middle School, 600 14th Ave., Holdrege
· Imperial Police Department, 637 Broadway St., Imperial
· Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Law Enforcement Center, NE corner of the LEC Building, 606 3rd St., Fairbury
· Kimball County Sheriff’s Office, 114 E. 3rd St., Kimball
· La Vista Police Department, 7701 S. 96th St., La Vista
· Logan County Sheriff’s Office, 317 Main St., Stapleton
· Minden Police Department, west side of building, 246 N. Colorado Ave., Minden
· Ralston Police Department, at Walgreens, 8380 Harrison St., La Vista
· Sidney Police Department, 1715 Illinois St., Sidney
In addition, some chain drugstores maintain year-round take-back kiosks, such as Walgreens at 2320 23rdSt., in Columbus. Visit the Nebraska Meds Coalition’s website, https://www.nebraskameds.org, for pharmacies featuring year-round take-backs. Take-back programs are the best way to dispose of old drugs. Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold, and unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply. If a local program is not available, take the meds out of their bottles; mix them with something unappealing, like used kitty litter, or seal them in a bag or disposable container and throw that away.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or Take Back Day, visitwww.DEATakeBack.com. For more information about substance use disorder treatment, please visithttp://dhhs.ne.gov/behavioral_