BCSO will again serve as the collection point for the program made possible by a partnership between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the GRAAB Coalition (Going Respectively Against Addictive Behaviors).
The most recent Drug Take Back, conducted late last year, 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The project yielded 231.5 pounds of unused, out-of-date medications, according to Bob Gault, media relations coordinator for BCSO.
Two take-back weeks held in 2012 netted 401 pounds of unused, unneeded or unwanted drugs which filled the shelves and medicine cabinets of area residents.
These collected drugs will not make it into the environment or into the hands of drug abusers, according to officials.
“We know that during the course of time, residents’ prescriptions go out of date or unused and we are glad to provide the opportunity for them to bring their drugs into our office for safe disposal,” Gault said.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 undisclosed location for proper disposal in an environmentally safe way by DEA officials.
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, last year.
“BCSO goes a step beyond some of these agencies and provides six days to participate in the Drug Take Back program. Most of the agencies typically hold their collection date to one day,” Gault said.
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.
Tanya Southerland, executive director of the GRAAB Coalition pointed to the significance of the program and its impact in helping to prevent potential abuse.
“While there has been a marked decrease in the use of some illegal drugs like cocaine, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that nearly one-third of people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2009 began by using a prescription drug non-medically,” Southerland said. “To provide this service to our community, we are reducing the number of prescription drugs the youth could potentially get access to and abuse.”
Gault said the collection gets underwaty Monday and will continue for six days.
“Residents wanting to drop off their unwanted prescriptions or medicines can do so beginning Monday at 9 a.m., at the Criminal Investigations Division offices. There is no need for residents to remove labels from the bottles, but they can if they wish,” Gault said.
Collections will be taken daily until 4 p.m. Friday, then Saturday from 10 to 2 p.m.,” Gault said.
The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is located at 2290 Blythe Ave. The CID offices face APD 40 at the Bradley County Judicial Complex.