As a volunteer member of the Peoria Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, I’ll be at the Peoria Heights Police Department on Saturday collecting your old or unused prescription drugs during National Drug Take Back Day. This event is taking place at police departments and agencies across the nation to help curb the purposeful or accidental use and misuse of prescription drugs, as well as the improper disposal of such drugs into the trash or water systems – both potential health and safety hazards.
Last year the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and 4,076 of its national, tribal, and community law enforcement partners collected 617,150 pounds (309 tons) of unwanted prescription drugs at 5,495 collection sites. Begun in 2010, this brought the program's collection total to 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons — a clear indication of an ongoing need.
These drugs run the gamut from mild sedatives to potent pain killers that are subject to the taking by anyone with access to them — either on purpose or accidentally. This can be a young person looking to experiment, an aging parent who grabs the wrong pill bottle, or someone who chances that an expired prescription will do them no harm.
The Peoria Substance Abuse Prevention (SAP) Coalition's mission is to work to prevent and reduce substance abuse in Peoria County through collaboration, education and awareness for a healthier community.
The misuse of prescription drugs is second only to marijuana use as the nation's most commonly used illicit drug. A U.S. government report shows that more than 70 percent of people who first misuse prescription drugs get them from their friends, relatives or simply take them without asking.
(Start rant.) And here's the deal, parents. Even if you think "my kid would never" or "my kid's friends would never," WAKE UP. They could. They might. They do. So just get your heads out of the sand and get rid of them - just in case. K? (End rant.)
This is a no-questions asked, no judgment passed opportunity for you to dispose of prescription drugs safely, and it takes no time at all. Heck, if you don’t want to get out of your car, text me or wave me over and I’ll come to you (if I’m allowed to do that. I’m not sure. Just throw them out the window at me and I’ll make sure some responsible person comes over and grabs them.)
Here's the details.
National Drug Take Back Day runs from 10 am – 2 pm on Saturday, September 26th. Collection sites in the Peoria area include:
Peoria Heights Police Department (this is where I'll be!)
1311 E. Sciota Ave. in the Heights
Peoria Police Department
600 SW Adams St., Downtown Peoria
Bartonville Police Department
5918 S. Adams St., Bartonville
To find the event in your area, visit the DEA website at www.dea.gov and enter your ZIP code.