On Saturday, October 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Athens Police Department and Keep Athens Beautiful will give the public its eighteenth opportunity in ten years to prevent pill abuse and theft. This is done by the public through ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs such as painkillers, tranquilizers, and stimulants.
The event is conducted in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Bring your medications for disposal to the Athens Partnership Center, located at 201 W. Corsicana St. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked. However, the DEA will not accept liquids, needles, or sharps. Only pills and/or patches will be accepted.
Last October, Americans turned in approximately 441 tons (almost 883,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,200 sites operated by DEA and almost 4,900 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Since the beginning of the Take Back program, in the fall of 2010, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 12.6 million pounds – or 6,350 tons of prescription drugs.
The process is anonymous and extremely easy. Due to COVID-19, precautionary measures will be taken. Simply drive-thru, remain in your vehicle, and drop off your unwanted or expired medication. There is no charge for this service, and no information is recorded from you.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, and nightstands 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 October Take Back event, please contact the Athens Police Department at 903-675-5454.