Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

October 29, 2013

Community answers call for unused drugs

By Rob Cox
Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG — On Saturday, the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department (DCSD), working in conjunction with the Indiana Board of Pharmacy and local neighborhood pharmacy The Medicine Shop on Lincoln Street, held a community-wide drug take-back event, allowing residents from around Decatur County to drop off expired and otherwise unused medications.

Decatur County Sheriff Greg Allen told the Daily News that the event – held twice yearly – is part of the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Drug Take Back program. Decatur County has participated in the event several years now, with The Medicine Shoppe serving host.

Debbie Frye, compliance director of the Indiana Board of Pharmacy, was also on hand at Saturday’s take back. According to her, as of the Daily News’ visit on Saturday, the take back had accepted some 400 pounds of old medication.

Allen said the brisk participation suggests the community is trying to do its part in keeping the community and the environment safe.

“It’s not a good idea to flush old, unused medications,” Allen said. “They can get into the water stream. This gives people a safe way to dispose of these drugs.”

Pharmacist Julie Acra, owner of The Medicine Shoppe, echoed the sheriff, adding, “The take back helps keep these drugs out of the hands of kids or other persons who might abuse the medication or take it by accident. The Take Back also keeps the medications out of the water supply. We don’t want people flushing these, because numerous studies have suggested that trace amounts of these drugs end up in the water supply when flushed. This is the right thing to do for the environment and for public health. That’s why we’re happy to partner with the Sheriff’s Department and the Indiana Board of Pharmacy to host this event.”

Sheriff Allen also wants the community to know that the DCSC accepts unused medications year-round. The Take Back, the sheriff said, is important both for getting these drugs out of circulation, but also for raising public awareness about the danger unused or old medications can pose to the environment and to public safety. It also helps remind people that, at the DCSD, EVERYDAY is a Take Back event.

“We have a 24-hour-a-day drop box right there at the Sheriff’s Department (at 315 South Ireland Street),” Allen said. “We want to remind everyone of that; you can drop your old, unused medications off there any time of day, 365 days a year.”

Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011