Sheriff’s Office, DEA to collect old prescription pillsSep 22nd, 2010 | By admin | Category: News
The DEA’s national take back day will run Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Office’s Paris Road Substation at 5429 Paris Road.
More than 3,400 sites nationwide, including in New Orleans, Slidell and Jefferson Parish as well as St. Bernard, are set to take part in the program which aims to prevent increased prescription drug abuse and theft of pills from people’s homes, DEA officials said.
“We are pleased with the results of our own “Operation Medical Cabinet,’’’ Sheriff Stephens said. The program, which began in April, has seen St. Bernard Parish residents turn over to the Sheriff’s Office about 5,000 prescription medications that are old or no longer needed, but could possibly be stolen by visitors to their homes or taken by burglars, and then ended up sold on the streets.
“This program has been an unqualified success for us and the people of St. Bernard,’’ Sheriff Stephens said.
“So we are glad to take part in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s “take-back’’ initiative which sets aside one day, Saturday, September 25, to have law enforcement agencies accept any prescription drugs the public wants to turn in to have destroyed,’’ Sheriff Stephens said.
After Sept. 25, St. Bernard residents can continue to surrender any prescriptions they want to get rid of by calling the sheriff’s (504) 271-DOPE hotline in Chalmette 24 hours a day. The Sheriff’s Office will continue to make the program available to residents, the sheriff said.
“We encourage individuals to rid their households of unneeded prescription medications as a means to fight misuse of such drugs,’’ Sheriff Stephens said. “Don’t throw them in the trash where others may find them and don’t flush them in the toilet because studies show prescription drugs disposed of that way are already polluting our supply of drinking water.’’
Teen-agers addicted to prescription medications, Clark said, often admit they have raided their parents medicine cabinet to get drugs or at the homes of relatives or friends, including such tablets as the pain-killer Vicodin, the anxiety medicine Xanax and Valium.
Clark added, “Take time to do an inventory of your medicine cabinet and get rid of what you don’t need.’’
Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said, “Operation Medicine Cabinet’’ is an attempt to reduce the availability of prescription drugs among those who don’t have a legitimate medical reason for having them. Don’t let them end up in the hands of others.’’
Pohlmann added, “We hope this is preventing some people, particularly teen-agers, from getting access to prescription drugs they might otherwise steal from their parents, relatives or from the homes of friends.’’
The group Partnership for a Drug Free America has estimated that each day 2,500 youngsters across the nation abuse prescription drugs for the first time, adding teen-agers now abuse prescription medications more than any illegal drug except marijuana.