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Sidney police offering drug take-back event Saturday

Residents can drop off unwanted, unused or expired prescription drugs

 


This Saturday, the Sidney Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be on-site at the Sidney Police Department to give the public an opportunity to help prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

The effort is part of The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, aiming to provide communities a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing prescription drugs, as well as educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

“We’ve been doing this for about nine years now,” Assistant Chief of Police Joe Aikens said.

Officers with the Sidney Police Department will be at the police department this Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, but the public can bring pills for disposal any time from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

“Just drop it in the box, and it will get shipped back to the DEA in St. Louis where they will incinerate it,” SPD officer Curtis Hofrock said.

Hofrock said incineration is “the absolute safest way” to dispose of prescription pills.

“Because if they throw it in the trash and it ends up in the landfill, those things seep their way into our groundwater,” he said.

While most medication can be disposed of through the drug take-back program, Hofrock said the DEA can not accept needles.

“If it’s in an EpiPen, or something like that and is self-contained, then we can take those,” he said. “And we can take the syringe, but they have to take the needle off.”

Hofrock said to dispose of needles, the DEA recommends placing it in an old plastic laundry detergent container, taping the lid shut and labeling the containers “Sharps” before throwing it in the trash.

Aikens said the event was originally planned to be held at the Cheyenne County Community Center, but was moved to the police department after the Sidney Regional Medical Center’s health fair was canceled earlier this week ahead of possible bad weather.

Aikens said the most common scenario the department sees is when a relative passes away and the family does not know what to do with their old medication.

“So this gives them an opportunity to get rid of that instead of it sitting around in a box, and one of the kids getting ahold of it, flushing it down their toilet or pets eating it,” he said. “It gives them a good way to get rid of the stuff.”

Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons 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, according to a release from the Sidney Police Department.

Overall, in its 10 previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in more than 5.5 million pounds of pills.

Hofrock said just in Sidney, the police department has collected more than 700 pounds. He said another drug take-back event will most likely occur in September as well.

Aikens said he wanted to make it clear that Saturday’s event is not the only time the police department will take unwanted, unused or expired medication.

“Any time of the year, they can always bring it to us for disposal,” he said.

The Sidney Police Department is located at 1715 Illinois St. For more information on drug take-back program, call (308) 254-5515.

 

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