GPD to assist DEA in Drug Take Back effort on Sept. 29

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Greencastle Police Department will again assist the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with its free, anonymous Drug Take Back Program.

The local event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the upper parking area at Greencastle High School, 910 E. Washington St.

For those unfamiliar with the Drug Take Back Program, police officers and school administrative staff will set up a drive-through clinic where motorists pass through the location and drop off any expired, unused controlled or uncontrolled medications (including pills, liquids and prescription bottles) along with any unneeded or expired over-the-counter medication.

Those dropping off the drugs then simply drive away. Authorities will not be taking any information from the motorists as they drive through.

The medication is collected in boxes that get taped up and are then transported to a State Police Post in Indianapolis where the DEA agents take possession of the boxes. Those agents then transport them to an incinerator where both the medication and boxes are burned.

The effort gives the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, Greencastle Police Chief Tom Sutherlin said.

Last April, Putnam County residents turned in 195 pounds while Hoosiers across Indiana turned in approximately 7.6 tons of prescription drugs at nearly 97 sites operated by the DEA and more than 63 state and local law enforcement partners.

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.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition, Americans are now advised that previous methods for disposing of unused medicines -- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash -- both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Anyone who has any questions regarding this program may contact Chief Sutherlin at 765-848-1561.

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