On Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Reserve Officers and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 13th opportunity in 7 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to the VBCH Community Services Center (Upper Level of the Hospital’s Daycare) at 308 Mulberry Street, Keosauqua, IA 52565 (Entrance to the Van Buren County Hospital’s Emergency Room – Building on the Left). The DEA cannot accept liquids, inhalers, needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons (over 730,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 12 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 7.1 million pounds—more than 3,500 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, 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.