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Pharmaceutical disposal, set

Announcement Special to the Courier

Working with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, law enforcement personnel with the Bandera County Sheriff's Office will participate in the "Drug Take Back Program" from 10 am until 2 pm, Saturday, April 27.
At that time, county residents may turn in potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Designed to prevent pharmaceutical abuse and theft, this will mark the sixth "Drug Take Back Program" in three years. As always, the free disposal service will be conducted anonymously.
The public is urged to bring their prescription medications for disposal to these locations:
• Lakehills Area Library 7200 FM 1283 Lakehills
• Bandera City Hall 511 Main Street, City of Bandera
• Medina Community Library, 13948 Highway 16 North, Medina
• Vanderpool Volunteer Fire Department, 32647 Highway 187 North, Vanderpool
Last September, Americans turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In five previous "Take Back" events, DEA and its partners took in over 2 million pounds - over a thousand tons - of pills.
This initiative addresses an important public safety and public health issue. Medicines allowed to languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States 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, friends and from home medicine cabinets.
In addition, citizens have now been advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines, such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, potentially pose safety and health hazards.
Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 - an amendment to the Controlled Substances Act. This allows an "ultimate user" of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Office of the United States Attorney General to accept them. In certain instances, the act also allows the attorney general to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents' controlled substances.
DEA administrators are drafting regulations to implement the act. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the Bandera County Sheriff's Office and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.

For more information, contact the BCSO at 830-796-4323.