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Keep legal drugs away from illegal users

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

Henry County residents can help keep outdated medicine out of the wrong hands during Drug Take-Back Day.

The free, anonymous event is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27 at law enforcement offices around the county.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

This is the ninth year Henry County has participated in official Drug Take-Back Days.

According to Henry County Educational Coordinator Olene Veach, studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

Veach said medicine left in home cabinets are highly susceptible to being lost, stolen or abused.

“Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. and Indiana are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs,” Veach said. “Disposing of unused medicines by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash poses a potential safety and health hazard.”

In order to help residents safely get rid of their old pills and medicinal patches, Henry County law enforcement agencies have installed large white “take-back boxes” to collect the drugs.

These containers are located in the lobbies of the New Castle Police Department, Shirley Police Department, and the Henry County Law Enforcement Department.

This free service keeps unwanted, unneeded or expired prescription drugs away from curious children or abusive drug users.

NCPD is located at 227 N. Main St., New Castle.

Shirley PD is located at 409 Main St., Shirley.

Henry County Law Enforcement Division is located at 112 S. Main St., New Castle.

The “take-back boxes” are usually available only when the offices are open during regular business hours.

On Saturday, April 27, staff will be at the Law Enforcement Division and Shirley Police Department from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help residents get rid of unwanted medicines. 

Any medicine that is being turned in needs to be in its proper container.

Veach said the sites can only accept medicine in pill or patch form; they cannot take liquids or needles.

“The National Prescription Take-Back event is a time that reminds all residents that prescription drug abuse is a huge problem,” Veach said. “This is a special time for our community to help make homes in our counties safer from drug theft and abuse.”

The DEA also hosts a drug take-back day in the fall.

For more information on disposing of unused prescriptions, contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Department at 765-521-7032.