Operation Medicine Cabinet Presciption Drug Take Back Program set for Saturday

November 5, 2010
Dwayne Page

Operation Medicine Cabinet, a prescription drug take back program, will be held Saturday, November 6th from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the old Smithville Food Center parking lot on South Congress Boulevard in Smithville.

The event is sponsored by the DeKalb Prevention Coalition.

Gingie Braswell, member of the Coalition and Director of Human Resources at DeKalb Community Hospital, urges you to participate. "We want to invite everyone to bring all of their unused, unwanted or expired medications for safe disposal."

"You may ask, why should we participate?. This gives us an opportunity to have collected medications disposed of in an environmentally safe method. Pharmaceuticals have been found in our drinking water due to their disposal down house drains. So many times we don't know how to dispose of these drugs. We're looking for prescription and over the counter solid dosage medications and capsules. We really do not want to accept the liquid medications or syringes at this time."

"Every day almost 2,500 teens abuse a prescription medication for the first time and the medicine cabinet in their homes and the homes of their friends are the major sources for these drugs."

"We think this is a wonderful program. Our DeKalb Prevention Coalition is a new program and we're very happy that this is one of the first projects that we're presenting for the community. We're also working with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, the Smithville Police Department, and the Alexandria Police Department, with assistance from the Wal-mart Pharmacy, the City of Smithville, and the Office of the DeKalb County Mayor."

Jim Hendrixson, Director of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition, said this event is being held as part of the"Upper Cumberland Operation Medicine Cabinet Month." "Most of the other counties in the Upper Cumberland region are doing theirs on the same day. Two or three of them (counties) will be doing them later in the month. We will identify the drugs, that's where the pharmacy comes in. We'll divide the drugs into controlled and non-controlled type substances. From there, they'll be collected and the Tennessee Highway Patrol will be transporting them to a crematory either in Putnam County or White County. We request that the drugs be brought in their original containers. There will be someone there to take the labels off the containers. No one will know who is turning in what. Someone will be there to make sure your name is not on the container when it's passed on."

"We really want to urge everyone to partake of this opportunity. There's a lot of reasons to do this. We want to get the temptation out of the way for the youth. There's chances of accidental ingestion by younger children. And if people (thieves) know you have drugs in your house, they're more likely to want to enter your house."

"We're part of a national and statewide organization. Our primary focus is on early intervention and prevention of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use by youth. We have various programs such as this one that we will be putting on in the county to try to improve the situation. We meet the second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. at Haven of Hope. We're just now getting started and we're recruiting board members every day now."

For more information, call 615-785-1973.

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