Safe drug disposal offered

Published 10:23 pm Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Selma Police Department is marking National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day with a local drug take back program Saturday.

The department is encouraging the public to turn in unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs at the Walgreens on Highland Avenue Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for proper disposal. The program is a part of the U.S. Justice Drug Department’s national initiative to provide responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs while educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.

“They can turn it into us no questions asked, and we send that off to the DEA to be destroyed,” Lt. Sam Miller with the Selma Police Department said. “Basically that helps cut down on people that are abusing these prescription drugs illegally.”

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Miller said abusing prescription drugs has become a growing epidemic across the nation.

“You see it prevalent among high school students who have a tendency to experiment with prescription medication,” Miller said. “Sometimes it might be their parents’ medication, a friend’s or whatever, but they take these medications and basically get a high that could lead to death or other problems.”

Thanks to Alabama’s seven previous Prescription Drug Take-Back events more than 24,000 pounds of unwanted, unused or expired drugs have been properly removed and destroyed, according to news release from Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s office.

“Many of us have out-dated prescriptions that are too easily accessible to children and others,” Strange said. “These drugs can also be the target of home invasions and burglaries.”

Dosage and liquid medications that are controlled, non-controlled and over-the-counter substances will be accepted at the drug take back. The department is only willing to collect prescription drugs from long-term care facilities and individuals.

Medication from pharmacies, hospitals, doctors’ offices and medical clinics will not be accepted.

Those participating in the drug take pack are asked to remove labels or blackout personal information on the labels before dropping them off Saturday.

For more information, call Miller at 431-0174.