ST. JAMES — The St. James Police Department and St. James Kiwanis Club collected about 45 pounds of medication during the drug take-back event last weekend, about half the amount collected at the May event.
"We collected 45 pounds and 41 ounces, which was three large boxes," said St. James Police Chief Ron Jones. "We collected various types of prescription medication, over-the-counter medications and controlled substances, and antibiotics – anything people had lying around without a way to dispose of them."
The meds collected will be handed over to the Drug Enforcement Agency for incineration.
The take-back event held earlier this year yielded the collection of more than 80 pounds of medication.
Jones said the event, which is a joint effort between the department and the Kiwanis Club, is a community service that residents continue to appreciate.
"The Kiwanis Club spearheads the event, and we have a little drive-thru set up in the rear of the police department, so people don't even have to get out of their car," the chief said. "I think it's a really good thing to get these leftover drugs and scheduled narcotics out of the house to keep children from getting them."
According to the DEA, the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 was passed in response to the increasing number of Americans who abuse prescription drugs.
A survey in 2011 indicated that more than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs, and more than 70 percent of those people obtained said narcotics "through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet."
Prescription drug take-back events are held annually across the U.S. and result in the collection and disposal of thousands of pounds of prescription medications every year.
Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Jones said he is looking at placing a secured drop-off box at the police station, which will allow residents to discard their leftover meds throughout the year.
Rolla drop-off box
Since July, people have been able to deposit their unwanted prescription drugs in a permanent drug drop box available 24 hours a day, seven days a week inside the main lobby of the Rolla Police Department located at 1007 N. Elm St., Rolla.
The Phelps County Child Advocacy Network, Prevention Consultants of Missouri and the Rolla Police Department were recently selected through a competitive grant process to receive free of charge a permanent drug drop box through the Missouri Youth/Adult Alliance, a program of ACT Missouri.
Items accepted are prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, samples, medications for pets, ointments, lotions and liquid medication in glass or leak-proof containers.
Page 2 of 2 - Those items not accepted are needles (sharps), thermometers, bloody or infections waste, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans and inhalers.