TFC Michael Murriell
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 14, Ashland
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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
Date of News Release: 10/14/2011
(Ashland, Ky.) -- The Kentucky State Police in Ashland are partnering with local Drug Task Forces, and local law enforcement agencies in a Prescription Drug "Take-Back" initiative sponsored by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Over 3,400 sites nationwide have joined the effort to prevent increased pill abuse and theft. Government, community, public health and law enforcement partners will collect potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at these sites across the nation on Saturday, October 29, 2011 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Citizens may drop off unwanted medicines at the Kentucky State Police Post 14 in Ashland, KY. No early drop-offs will be accepted.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, 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, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.
According to a DEA news release from October 2010, the American public turned in more than 242,000lbs of prescription drugs during the first-ever national prescription drug "Take-Back" campaign. This campaign occurred on September 25, 2010. During the most recent statewide campaign (May 2011), the Kentucky State Police collected a total of 700lbs. of prescription drugs from those who wished to discard unwanted medications.
CPT Merrell Harrison, Commander for Post 14 Ashland stated, "This initiative provides an excellent opportunity for our local citizens to clean out any unwanted, old, or expired medicines in their homes. Since the number of overdoes exceeded the number of traffic fatalities last year (state-wide), citizens and police need to work together to combat the ever growing prescription abuse problem in our region."