The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Cops, courts and fires

April 27, 2013

Anderson, Pendleton police take back prescription drugs

ANDERSON, Ind. — The Anderson Police Department and State Police Pendleton Post participated in the third annual national prescription drug take-back day Saturday.

Area residents lined up at the departments to bring in old and obsolete prescription drugs and other unwanted pills. By noon, APD had two 50-gallon barrels full of unwanted drugs and three large, full trash bags.

Officer Brad McClain, who managed the take-back at APD’s front desk, said there was a steady stream of traffic from people bringing in unwanted pills and other medicines. He said the most common donations came from elderly people who have recently lost family members and want to avoid the dangers of keeping the drugs in their homes.

Deborah Foster of Muncie, who recently lost her husband, dropped off several bags full of pills he used while he was sick. She no longer has use for them, and she has two young grandsons she doesn’t want getting into the pills.

“As far as I know, there wasn’t a program like this in Muncie so I came down here,” Foster said.

Some liquids were taken but McClain said he usually turned away liquid cough medicine. Used syringes were also not allowed, as the take-back was limited to pills. He said anyone who got rid of their unwanted pills also lowers the risk of burglaries from drug users or sellers.

“It’s also important to find a proper manner of disposal because if you just flush pills down the toilet, they can work their way into the water, which is hazardous for everyone,” McClain said.

According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s national survey on drug use, more than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs. About 70 percent of people who abuse prescription painkillers got them through friends or relatives.

Officials estimate nearly 2 million pounds of prescription medication have been taken out of circulation nationally as a result of previous drug take-back days.

Find Jack Molitor on Facebook and @AggieJack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

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