The Cape Girardeau Police Department will once again host the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Drug Takeback Day next weekend.
Lt. Bradley Smith says he and several other officers will be present at the front of the police station collecting unused or expired medications for proper disposal. Items that will not be accepted include oxygen tanks, needles, or liquids.
The drug takeback event is free of charge and completely anonymous.
“You don’t have to worry about labels,” says Smith. “What we do is put it in our containment box, I seal it up, and then it gets handed over to the DEA for destruction.”
The 16th Annual DEA Take Back Day in Oct. 2018 collected 914,236 pounds of medication nationwide, across 2,839 collection sites.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, six million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs in 2017. A study showed that a majority of the prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, and ‘often from the home medicine cabinet.’
Smith says he understands some people may have a tendency to let medications stockpile in their homes, but this habit can be detrimental to curious children, as well as the environment.
“We don’t want you flushing them down the toilet, because it pollutes the water,” says Smith. “Everything winds back up in our streams eventually.”
The event will be held on Saturday, Apr. 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cape Girardeau Police Station, located at 2530 Maria Louise Lane.
Smith says if you cannot attend, the department has a drug dropbox available in their lobby, which is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. all week.