LaGRANGE — People looking to get rid of their old, unwanted and unused prescription pills will have a safe place to get rid of them this weekend — instead of their trash can, sink or toilet.
The Troup County Prevention Coalition, a division of Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services, is collaborating with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration to host their annual Drug Take Back event 10 a.m.–noon Saturday at Holmes Pharmacy, 136 Commerce Ave.
Shannon Lawson is the new coordinator at the prevention coalition. She said the event is aimed at tackling a growing problem in the nation and locally.
“The Troup County Prevention Coalition aims to help our community reduce the non-medical use and abuse of prescription drugs by our youth,” she explained. “By hosting events like Saturday’s Drug Take Back, it helps the coalition highlight this abuse issue and also assists with educating the public on how to securely dispose of their expired prescription drugs. It is our hope that these efforts, coupled with other prevention strategies, will continue to aid families in our community in raising healthy and productive teens.”
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the top three prescription drugs that are most abused for non-medical purposes are: opioid pain relievers, such as Hydrocodone; central nervous system depressants like Valium and stimulants like Adderall.
“It’s really important that when given medications prescribed by doctors that we safely store them, and when they’re no longer needed, we dispose of them,” Lawson said. “That reduces the chances of those prescribed medicines getting into the wrong hands.”
Teens can be most susceptible — either abusing a drug that was prescribed to them, getting it from their friends or elsewhere, or stealing it from a relative’s medicine bottle — stated Lawson.
“We focus our efforts on the teens. Taking medications that are not prescribed to you is illegal. That’s why people need to make sure the pills are stored securely in safe storage and disposed of properly,” she said. “Anytime we can reduce the risk of addiction or even death, we add value back to that teen, back to that family and back to that community.”
People are welcome to bring any prescription pill medications and patches to the Drug Take Back Event — no questions asked.
Lawson said the only items that will not be accepted are liquids, needles or anything sharp.
For those who can’t go Saturday, the sheriff’s office has a drug take back box inside the lobby of its office on Sam Walker Drive. It is open to the public daily.
Melanie Ruberti is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. She may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.