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POUNDS OF PILLS

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By Bryan Marshall

Kentucky collected more than 9,000 pounds of unused or unneeded medications during the Oct. 26 DEA National Drug Take Back Day, eliminating their risk of being diverted and abused.

A total of 9,135 pounds were collected at Take Back events, which were held in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies throughout Kentucky, according to the Office of Drug Control Policy.
Champions For a Drug-Free Grant County help organize an event at the Grant County Sheriff’s Department and provided donuts and hot dogs from Beans in Dry Ridge.

During the Drug Take Back Day event, three pounds and 11 ounces of pills and other medications were collected at the sheriff’s department.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Department has been collecting unused prescription pills and other medication for about four and a half years, said Sheriff Chuck Dills.

A box where residents can drop of prescriptions is located in the lobby of the sheriff’s office on Barnes Road.

Each month, Dills said a report is submitted to the Kentucky Crime Prevention Coalition with the amount of prescriptions collected.

“There are some months where as little as two pounds are collected,” Dills said. “Other months we could have more than 30 pounds turned in.”

Once collected, the sheriff’s office will destroy the pills by either pouring kerosene on them or taking them to an incinerator in Warsaw.

Dills said collecting unused medications not only helps stop illegal use of prescriptions, but it also can help deter criminals from targeting people who have the unwanted pills in their homes.

This year’s total was the largest by far for the state since at least October 2011, when Kentucky began tracking its collection from the national event.  

The Drug Take Back held in April of this year resulted in 7,171 pounds of medications being turned in.
Last October, 4,961 pounds were collected.

Since October 2011, Kentucky has collected 33,170 pounds at Take Back events.
Along with the Take Back Days, there are permanent prescription disposal locations available throughout the state, including the Grant County Sheriff’s Department and Grant County Drugs.