Sheriff's office is taking back prescription drugs - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Sheriff's office is taking back prescription drugs

By Taylor Kinkade - bio | email 

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  If you had to battle an avalanche the last time you opened your medicine cabinet, it's probably time to get rid of some of those old prescriptions. Now the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office is helping you do just that.

Instead of leaving those old prescription bottles on the counter, or just throwing them in the trash, there is a safe and legal way to get rid of your pills called the National Take Back Initiative.

"This gives them the opportunity to turn them in to local pharmacies that we've partnered up with instead of them going in the wrong hands. Sometimes people flush them down the toilet and that's bad for the environment, and a lot of times people don't think of the effects it could have on that," explained Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr.

There are dangers associated with keeping expired prescriptions.

Dinglewood Pharmacy owner Terry Hurley said, "If you keep them at home a couple things could happen. They are accessible to people who shouldn't have them and they deteriorate as they get older and you run the gamut from toxicity to accidental poisoning of people."

Plus the medication could wind up being used for illegal purposes. Darr said, "One of the biggest issues we face right now in our community is young people -- high school and young adults -- is prescription medication. This gives us the opportunity to make sure these drugs that are expired or old don't get into the hands of these individuals."

People can drop off their old medicine bottles completely anonymous at participating pharmacies and Sheriff Darr says the sheriff's office will take care of the rest, "After we collect them all over the course of a week, we turn them over to the DEA and they incinerate them."

The Muscogee County Sheriff's Department has teamed up with local pharmacies for drop off locations for your medicine. There are white collection bins placed at Center, Dinglewood, J & J, North Columbus, and River Road Pharmacies.

Also, the Russell County Sheriff's Office is collecting prescription drugs this Saturday at their office in east Alabama.

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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