Sheriff Craig Webre announced the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office will partner with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for the seventh National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 26, medications can be brought to the collection station at the main entrance of Ochsner St. Anne Hospital located at 4608 Highway 1 in Raceland.
This effort helps prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding people’s homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs by turning them over to our Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force for destruction. The service is free, anonymous, and no questions are asked.
During the last effort in April, Americans turned in 371 tons (over 742,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In the six previous Take Back events combined, the DEA and its partners took in over 2.8 million pounds – more than 1,400 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. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including 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.
“The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office continues our commitment to combat drug abuse within our community and put a halt to this disturbing trend,” said Sheriff Webre. “This national initiative provides residents with a safe method of proper disposal for these potentially dangerous medications, and we encourage all citizens to clean out their medicine cabinets of unused medication, preventing any chance of misuse.”
In participating in this event, the Sheriff’s Office is providing residents with a “neutral site” (hospital) on a weekend to drop off medications, but Sheriff Webre reminds residents that they can drop off unused medications on any weekday throughout the year at the offices of the Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force, located at 5200 Highway 1 in Raceland.