This Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office will participate in a one-day collaborative effort with the Drug Enforcement Administration to remove unused and expired medications from homes and medicine cabinets.
Bring your pills for disposal to the STPSO Administrative Building, 300 Brownswitch Road, in Slidell or the STPSO Law Enforcement Complex at 2070 Collins Blvd., in Covington. (The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps - only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Any identifying information should be removed from containers before being deposited.
Last fall Americans turned in 456 tons (912,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,300 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 14 previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in more than 9 million pounds - more than 4,500 tons - of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office also has permanent drug take-back boxes at both of the above listed locations. This on-going initiative is a collaborative effort in partnership with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA), the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI), and numerous Louisiana law enforcement agencies. Since the permanent drug take-back boxes were put in place late last year, St. Tammany Parish residents have presented more than 103 lbs. of drugs for disposal.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 28 Take Back Day event, visit www.DEATakeBack.com.