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Drug turn-in events net pounds of unused medicine

October 30, 2011

By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
sdnedu@bellsouth.net

Over 50 pounds of potentially dangerous medications are off the street and in law enforcement custody after successful medication turn-in events this weekend.
Mississippi State University Extension Services, the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department and the MSU Police partnered in the nationwide event sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
With prescription drug abuse becoming a huge problem across the nation, turn-in events help prevent these medications from getting into the wrong hands.
“There are so many people who are misusing medication and it’s created a really bad drug problem. These events keep people who have a problem from getting a hold of them,” Sheriff Dolph Bryan said. “There aren’t many was to legally dispose of it. It’s against the law to be transporting other people’s prescription medication, so it has to be handled by law enforcement.”
The medication collected included everything from over-the-counter medication to old prescription medication.
These types of events not only benefit law enforcement in terms of drug enforcement, but it also prevents the medication from getting into the public water supply.
“We don’t want people to flush them down the toilet or pour them down the drain because it will go straight into the water system. Water treatment plants aren’t designed to take those products out so they end up in our surface water bodies,” extension assistant professor Amy Schmidt said. “It can be a danger ... to the aquatic life, and we to keep in mind that when we dump things down our drain, people downstream are taking that water out to use as their drinking water source.”
Schmidt said medication needs to be disposed of properly and responsibly. She also recommended not buying too much medication at any given time because it will likely expire before it could all be used.
MSU Extension Services also held an event on campus where it collected over 15 pounds of medication.
An official from the DEA will collect all of the medication for proper disposal.

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