Safely dispose of your unwanted prescription drugs on Take Back Day this Saturday, Oct. 22

MEEKER | On Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 12th opportunity in six 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 Sheriff’s Office at 355 Fourth St. (We cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Last April, Americans turned in 447 tons (more than 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 11 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 6.4 million pounds—about 3,200 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. For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Oct. 22 Take Back Day event, go to the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office Facebook or DEA Diversion website.