County sponsors pill take-back day

Staff Report

GALLIPOLIS — Have any old or unwanted medications just lying around in the medicine cabinet?

The Gallia County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Gallia County Health Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency, will have a drug take-back day April 30.

The event, which lasts between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., is the 11th such event in six years and is meant to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous substances that are either expired, unused or unwanted.

The pill an be disposed of at the Gallia County Health Department, 499 Jackson Pike, Gallipolis. The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps — only pills or patches. According to the sheriff’s office, the service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons (more than 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 10 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 5.5 million pounds — more than 2,750 tons — of pills.

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.

Staff Report