Police, Pills and Prescriptions

Michelle Slough and Officer George Ibarra

Old and outdated pills and prescriptions were collected by members of the Lamar Police Department this past Saturday, September 29, during the local Take-Back event.

Michelle Slough and Officer George Ibarra were available for a drive-through, drop-off from 10am to 2pm to collect old prescriptions and medications through a volunteer program that is conducted throughout the state. Flushing away or throwing out old medications has been found to be an unsafe practice for the environment.

Deaths from drug abuse through prescription drugs has also doubled in Colorado over the past decade, with deaths climbing from 228 in 2000 to 414 in 2010. Statistics show that in 2010, more than twice as many Colorado residents died from prescription drug abuse than from drunk-driving related crashes.

There’s also been a growth in the number of young people abusing prescriptions, usually readily available from the medicine cabinet in their own homes. Teens are under the impression that prescription drugs are “safe to use” because their prescribed by a physician, and teens have stated that they’re easier to get than beer.

During the three National Take-Back Initiative events in 2010 and 2011 hosted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and local law enforcement agencies, Coloradans turned in more than 35,000 pounds of unused medications.

Michelle Slough, from the LPD’s dispatch office said the collections through the day were evenly paced, but there were some items which the Lamar Police Department cannot handle in the donations. These included: needles and sharps, Epi-pens, mercury thermometers, oxygen containers, chemotherapy and radioactive substances, pressurized canisters and illicit drugs. Quite often when a family member has passed away, left-over medications need to be properly disposed of and your local physician or health care provider can make recommendations.

By Russ Baldwin


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