Sheriff Donnie Harrison & Elk Dom Serra sort a bag that was dropped off.jpg

Sheriff Donnie Harrison and Elk Dom Serra sort a bag that was dropped off in this 2018 photo.

Greensboro, Ga. On Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Lake Oconee Elks Lodge No. 2849, the Greene County Sheriff's Office, Publix at Lake Oconee Village and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its opportunity in to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. This is the second local and 16th National Program.

Bring your pills and patches for disposal to the front of Publix at Lake Oconee Village. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

The CDC estimated that deaths from drug overdoses in 2017 numbered 72,000. This is an alarming number since deaths from automobiles and gun deaths number about 30,000 each.

This spring Americans turned in 456 tons (937,443 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,300 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 11 million pounds — more than 5,908 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. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen 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.

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