By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Canadian County residents are encouraged to safely dispose of unneeded and expired prescription medicine on Saturday, April 27 for National Take Back Day.
The April 27th National Take Back Day is being promoted by the Red Rock Regional Prevention Coordinator in Canadian County.
The medicines should be placed in Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics’ drop boxes at local law enforcement agencies.
“Part of our grant (funded by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services) is promoting safe disposal of prescription medications, specifically opiods,” said Julia Cochran, director of the Red Rock Regional Prevention Coordinator (RPC) in Canadian County.
Receptacles are available for community members to utilize year-round to keep their homes safe for family and friends. OBN medication drop boxes are at these Canadian County law enforcement agencies:
Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, 208 W Rogers in El Reno (open 24/7); Yukon Police Department, 100 S Ranchwood (open 24/7); Mustang Police Department, 650 E State Highway 152 (open 24/7); and Piedmont Police Department, 400 Edmond Road NW (open 8-5 Monday-Friday).
Each receptacle is made of stainless steel, bolted to the floor, and locked.
“They’ve been in those locations over five years now,” Cochran said. “They are for the community to drop off unused, expired medications.”
Having these drop boxes gets many opioids that are not being used “off the streets” and out of people’s homes. And that helps address the prescription overdose epidemic in Oklahoma.
“From October to December 2018, our four boxes total collected 84 pounds of unused or expired medications,” Cochran said. “From January to March so far we’ve collected 48 pounds.”
Red Rock RPC is promoting the four collection sites in Canadian County for the April 27th National Take Back Day observance.
“We want people to be aware that they’re free, anonymous and safe,” Cochran said. “Many people don’t even know they exist. We want to make sure the community is aware of it.”
“Many times, people have family members who’ve passed away and they have all these medications they don’t know what to do with. We’re working with doctors and funeral homes to educate families on where they can take their medications.”
Other times, people who have been prescribed medications no longer need these drugs and want to safely dispose of them so they don’t remain in their medicine cabinets.
Only prescription medications should be dropped in these receptacles at the Canadian County law enforcement offices.
Items not accepted are: Aerosol spray cans, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, illegal drugs, needles, syringes, sharp containers, medical devices, trash, mercury thermometers, batteries, chemicals, and more than four ounces of liquid.