‘Drug Take Back Day’ is Saturday

Published 4:14 am Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of prescribed medications.

The Bogalusa Police Department will be conducting a Drug Take Back event on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event will be held at Nielsen’s Pharmacy, which is located at 1619 S. Columbia St. in Bogalusa.

Items that will be accepted include expired prescription drugs, unwanted prescription drugs, over-the-counter pills, controlled and non-controlled substances. Non-accepted items include liquid products, injectable drugs, and syringes.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

“Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands,” said Rhonda Gunnell, treatment coordinator with ADAPT, Inc., a Bogalusa non-profit organization offering personal and pre-employment drug screens, individual or group counseling and other substance-abuse and problematic-behavior programs. “That’s dangerous and often tragic.”

The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths by disposing of prescription drugs that are no longer needed. The local Drug Take Back Day is sponsored by the Bogalusa Police Department, ADAPT, Inc., and in collaboration with Florida Parishes Human Services Authority with a grant from Louisiana Partnerships for Success.

Drug Take Back Day coincides with Red Ribbon Week (Oct. 23-31), which raises awareness about drug prevention in schools. Both of these are an opportunity to address the opioid epidemic in Louisiana, one of eight states where there are more prescriptions for opioid drugs than there are state residents. Louisiana’s drug overdose rate is also higher than the national average.

In addition, there are two drug drop box locations in St. Tammany Parish, which are available year-round for safe disposal of unwanted prescription medications and other dangerous controlled substances.

The drug drop boxes are at the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office buildings at 2070 Collins Blvd. in Covington, or 300 Brownswitch Road in Slidell.

“Our drug take back box initiative has proven to be a great resource for citizens across Louisiana. These easy-to-use drop boxes allow our state’s people to clean out their medicine cabinets and bring their unused and unnecessary drugs to a secure location,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said. “Research has shown that the majority of opioid misusers begin their addictions by taking prescriptions that were not theirs. We are proud to work with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and law enforcement agencies across our state to keep these dangerous drugs out of the wrong hands.”