A substance abuse prevention coalition and Kilgore Police Department have partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of National Drug Take Back Day to help the community safely dispose of their prescription drugs.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 26 at Walmart in Kilgore.
During that time, community members can dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs at locations across East Texas. The service is free and anonymous. Residents can simply hand their drugs to the officers there and be on their way, no questions asked.
“Leftover medications that sit in the home could easily be misued or diverted,” said Rebecca Smith, coalition coordinator for the Piney Woods Substance Abuse Coalition. “We want to educate the public on the importance of safe use, storage and disposal of medications to help prevent abuse in our community. Dropping of your leftover medication with law enforcement is a great way to make sure your medication doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.”
The availability of prescription controlled substance is especially a problem in East Texas, Smith added.
Locally, there are more controlled substances prescribed per capita than in the state, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“When there are more medications being prescribed, that means there’s more drugs sitting in home medicine cabinets that could be abused, especially by our local teens,” Smith said.
Sixty-two percent of teens say it’s easy to get prescription drugs from parents’ medicine cabinets, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“Parents or other trusted adults could accidently be supplying their teen with prescriptions to abuse and not even realize it,” Smith said.
In addition to the DEA Drug Take Back Day, the public can dispose of their unused medications year-round at permanent drop boxes across East Texas. The list of safe disposal locations can be found at www.easttexasrx.com.