Local enforcement agencies to collect unused medications

Law enforcement officers at locations across the state will be collecting unused leftover medications for safe disposal on Saturday, Oct. 28. But in Nemaha and Brown counties, this Takeback Day is a service offered all year round.

In Sabetha, prescription drugs can be dropped off at the red drop box inside Sabetha City Hall near the police dispatch window. Sabetha Police Chief Robert Wahwasuck said this site is available all day, every day of the year.

At the Nemaha County Sheriff’s Office, prescription drugs can be dropped off anytime in the red boxes in front of the Nemaha County Sheriff’s Office in Seneca. Needles and inhalers should not be dropped, said Nemaha County Sheriff Rich Vernon.

Brown County Sheriff John Merchant said his office also offers prescription drug drop-off all day, every day of the year. Medications can be left with dispatch at the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, and the medications are then deposited into a secure container that is monitored by security cameras.

Medications also will be taken at numerous locations across the state. To find another location, visit www.ag.ks.gov.

The collection events are part of a nationwide effort to safely dispose of leftover medications to prevent accidental or intentional misuse. Since the program began in 2010, more than 50 tons of unwanted medications have been collected and destroyed in Kansas alone.

“By statistic, more than 46,000 Americans die each year from drug-related deaths,” Merchant said. “According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.5 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs and a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained through family and friends, including from their home medicine cabinets.”The National Drug Take-Back Day is coordinated by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which collects and safely destroys the medications.

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, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show 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 traditional methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – pose potential safety and health hazards and should be avoided.


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