Turn in expired and unused meds on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 11:05 PM CDT
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PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Law enforcement across South Mississippi will be partnering with the DEA for National Drug Take-Back Day.

On October 23, there will be several locations available for people to anonymously drop off unused or expired prescription drugs.

Pascagoula Police Department Evidence Technician Martene Bernard is helping organize the drop-offs at the police department, and he says label information can be removed for privacy.

“The top can be open, and poured directly into the boxes,” said Bernard. “Any type of liquid in a bottle, the cap does need to be sealed on tightly.”

Singing River Health System Clinical Pharmacist Chris Ayers says the National Drug Take Back Day is a critical program helping to improve public health.

“It’s a really good opportunity for you to clean out those medicine cabinets and get those medications out of your house,” said Ayers. “We know that national statistics show us the dangers of having unused and expired prescription medications in the home. Certainly, children can get a hold of them and they can also be misused for unattended purposes.”

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers and an additional 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants. Besides health risks, safely disposing of drugs will cut down on environmental risks. Trace amounts of pharmaceuticals have already appeared in our rivers and lakes.

Bernard says the program helps benefit public safety.

“Sometimes they come up stolen,” said Bernard. They come in the wrong hands of people and it’s like a safety issue too because of overdoses.”

It’s an issue pharmacist Clarence DuBose, says is nationwide.

“One component of combating the drug abuse problem is to try to limit the availability of potentially dangerous drugs,” said DuBose. “Particularly in the hands of those who would like to abuse them or in the hands of those who would like to sell them.”

Here is a list of Drug Take Back Drop-off Locations for Saturday Oct. 23:

  • Biloxi Police Department- 10a.m. -2p.m.
  • Harrison County Sheriff’s Department- 10a.m. - 2p.m.
  • Pass Christian Police Department 10a.m. - 2p.m.
  • Pascagoula Police Department 10a.m. - 2p.m.
  • Singing River Healthplex 10a.m. -1p.m.
  • Wiggins Police Department 10a.m. -2p.m.
  • Wayne Lee’s in Lucedale 10a.m. -2p.m.

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