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Got Unused Medicines? Drug Take-Back Day Is Saturday

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Law enforcement officers in Kansas and across the country will be collecting unused, expired and leftover medications on Saturday.

It’s an initiative called the National Drug Take-Back Day.

In Sedgwick County, officers will be staffing five locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for people to drop-off their unused prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

The sites include the Sedgwick County Zoo, Oaklawn Activity Center and Household Hazardous Waste center, all in Wichita, as well as the Goddard City Hall and the fire station in Cheney.

The drug collection events started seven years ago as a way to safely dispose of leftover and expired medications to prevent accidental or intentional misuse.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office gathered nearly two tons of leftover prescription and over-the-counter medicines during the spring drug collection last April.

The Drug Enforcement Administration safely destroys the drugs that are collected.

The Kansas Attorney General’s Office says medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates opioid overdoses kill 91 Americans every day.

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, pharmaceutical opioids are a leading cause of drug poisoning deaths in Kansas. The CDC says the number of opioid prescriptions has quadrupled since 1999, despite Americans reporting a steady amount of pain.

The Kansas attorney general’s office says more than 50 tons of unwanted medications have been collected and destroyed in Kansas alone since the program began in 2010.

To find a drug drop-off site outside of Sedgwick County, visit www.ag.ks.gov.

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Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

 
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