This Saturday, April 24, 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 unused prescription drugs for disposal to the STPSO Administrative Building, 300 Brownswitch Road, in Slidell or the STPSO Law Enforcement Complex at 2070 Collins Blvd., in Covington.
Tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs will be accepted. Vaping devices and cartridges can also be dropped off at the locations, provided lithium batteries are removed. However, liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted.
The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Any identifying information should be removed from containers before being deposited.
At its last Take Back Day in October, DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs nationwide. Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
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.
Learn more about the April 24 Drug Take Back Day event at www.deatakeback.com, or by calling 800-882-9539.