BCSO again served as the collection point for the program made possible by a partnership between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the GRAAB Coalition, aka Going Respectively Against Addictive Behaviors.
The most recent Drug Take Back, conducted earlier this month, recorded even larger numbers.
The project yielded 231.5 pounds of unused, out-of-date medications, according to Bob Gault, media relations coordinator for BCSO.
Added to 170 pounds collected earlier this year, the total represents 401 pounds of drugs which will not make it into the environment or into the hands of drug abusers.
“We know that during the course of time, residents’ prescriptions go out of date or unused and we are glad to provide the opportunity for them to bring their drugs into our office for safe disposal,” Gault said.
“Drug Take Back week provides an opportunity for cleaning out the medicine cabinet,” said Gault said.
The unused drugs are collected at the Sheriff’s Office, then documented and loaded onto a trailer provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
They are then transfered to an undiclosed location for proper disposal.
Gault said DEA information revealed 20 agencies in North Georgia and Southeast Tennessee collected 2,000 pounds of drugs while the entire state of Tennessee collected approximately 7,000 pounds.
If unused drugs are simply flushed in a toilet or poured down a drain, they can leach into the water table and pose environmental concerns.
The collections are performed to keep the environmental impact from occurring as well as presenting an opportunity to collect unneeded medications and possibly even curb prescription drug abuse, according to Gault.
The program is a nationwide effort of the DEA and GRAAB Coalition (Going Respectfully Against Addictive Behaviors) also took part in the program.
Gault also said canned goods were collected for the Cleveland Food Bank.
Another Drug Take Back event is being planned for Spring 2013.