The Jacksonville Police Department is joining in a nationwide event this Saturday, aimed at keeping the public safe from prescription drugs.
Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a bi-annual event where the public can turn in unused prescription medications with no questions asked.
Jacksonville Chief of Police Adam Mefford says the event will take place at the Jacksonville Police Department on West Douglas this Saturday, and it really is a no questions asked event.
“Just bring them in and we will dispose of them. We calculate them, we secure them and then we turn them over to the D.E.A. For destruction. We want to keep those items out of the hands of children, out of our water supply, and out of individual’s hands who may have some underlying issues. We just want to get that access point taken away and by providing this service we are able to allow people to safely dispose of those items.”
The event runs from 10 am to 2 pm Saturday. Mefford says members of both the Police Department and Memorial Behavioral Health will be on hand to receive the medications. He says masks will be required to be worn while in the station, and a drive through drop off service will be available for anyone who would feel safer by not getting out of their vehicle.
Mefford says most medications can be dropped off, with only a few exceptions.
“We will take any over the counter medications, we will take supplements, we take even veterinary medications for pets or other animals. We do not take liquids because we are not able to take those. No medical apparatus or needles either.”
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is held once in the spring and fall of each year. Mefford says anyone who has unused prescription medications they want to dispose off, but can’t make it to the event Saturday, can still drop them off with no questions asked.
“The JPD accepts unwanted prescription medications 24 hours a day, seven days a week through our prescription drug drop box that we have inside of the police station.
Three years ago we put the drop box in the police station and it’s located in the lobby so we can take items 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So if you are not available on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm, don’t worry if it is outside of those specified hours we do take those anytime day or night.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Springfield, in Central Illinois alone last year, the DEA collected approximately 17,400 pounds of pharmaceuticals during Take Back Day.
24 hour drop off boxes are also available at the Scott County Health Department in Winchester, as well as at Walgreens, at 1802 W. Morton Ave. and CVS pharmacy at 936 Main St., Jacksonville.