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St. Clair County sheriff takes in 37 pounds of pills on national take-back day

by Candice Miller on May 20, 2011

By Jeri Packer, Voice Staff Writer
http://www.voicenews.com/articles/2011/05/19/news/doc4dd52c762eaa4457575310.prt
A child-proof cap may keep children out of prescription drug containers – but what about a burglar, a visitor or even your own teen?
 
Many half-empty bottles are carelessly stored in easily accessible medicine cabinets or kitchen cabinets, forgotten after the need for a pain killer or anti-depressant is gone.
 
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration organized a national strategy to reduce prescription drug misuse. The second National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day was observed by St. Clair County at the end of April.
 
County Sheriff Tim Donnellon said this year’s event was even more successful than in 2010. A total of 37.6 pounds of pills were turned in at the sheriff’s office on Michigan Road between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
 
“More than twice the quantity of drugs were turned in this time,” said Donnellon. “I am extremely pleased with the number of people who took advantage of the opportunity to get rid of the pills.”
 
People turned in all types of expired or unwanted drugs that day, which were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency for disposal by incineration.
 
Donnellon said if drugs are not disposed of properly they can get in the wrong hand or, if flushed down the toilet, they may be dumped into our water supply.
 
The Sheriff’s Office first participated in Drug Take Back day in September of last year when about 16 pounds of pills were turned in.
 
U.S. Congresswoman Candice Miller highlighted the importance of properly disposing of unwanted and unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Miller discussed legislation she will introduce aimed at developing the needed guidelines for the disposal of unused prescription drugs in a way that keeps them out of the water supply.
 
“My bill was introduced last year, it passed in the house but died in the senate,” she said.
 
The sheriff’s office is one of the participating locations in the U.S. for prescription disposal at anytime. Donnellon said anyone is welcome to bring in old pills for disposal. The pills will then be safely transported by the DEA for disposal by incineration.
 
“Bring them into the sheriff’s office,” he said. “It’s not a problem if they want to bring them in to take off the streets.”

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