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‘Drug take back’ box installed in Washington Parish

Washington Parish residents now have a safe place to dispose of old or unwanted prescription drugs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Landry visited the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office in Franklinton and unveiled a new “drug take back” box at the office. The box will be available, around the clock, for any citizen who wishes to bring un-needed prescription medication.

“It is no secret that there has been an opioid epidemic sweeping across our state and nation,” Landry said. “While deaths were already increasing prior to COVID-19, the numbers show an acceleration of overdoses since the first stay-at-home orders.

“Because statistics show that more than half of patients prescribed opioid painkillers have or expect to have extra pills left over, and that 60 percent of opioid misusers begin their addictions by taking the prescriptions of others, we have placed drug take back boxes in sheriff’s offices and police departments throughout Louisiana.

“And today, I am proud to unveil a drug take back box here in Washington Parish.”

Landry noted that statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 1,700 Louisianans died from overdoses between July 2019 and July 2020. That total was more than 53 percent more than the number who died of overdoses between July 2018 and July 2019.

“I encourage everyone in Washington Parish to take advantage of this resource now,” he said.

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal and Franklinton Police Chief Justin Brown also spoke about the new drug take back box.

“We are so appreciative of Attorney General Landry’s untiring effort to make Louisiana safe for all of our residents. It was an honor to have him visit our office and we are pleased to place the drug take back box in our lobby for anyone to use any hour of the day or night,” Seal said. “Let us be safe. Let us be smart. Let us continue to support our law enforcement officers throughout our state and parish as they pursue those who engage in the illegal drug trade.

“What a blessing it is for your Sheriff’s Office to have an excellent working partnership with Attorney General Landry and his staff as well as the chiefs and fine officers of both the Franklinton and Bogalusa police departments.”