FRANKFORT, KY (STL.News) Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron today donated Deterra drug deactivation packets to law enforcement in Madison and Bourbon Counties to assist with the safe disposal of prescription drug medications. The packets provide a safe means to neutralize unused or expired prescription pills, liquids, and patches that, if not destroyed, can lead to misuse, abuse, overdoses, or accidental poisonings.
The Attorney General donated a combined 600 Deterra packets to the Berea Police Department, Paris Police Department, and Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office to provide to the public. The donation comes ahead of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Take Back Day aims to provide a safe and convenient means for the disposal of prescription drug medications.
“It is our hope that the donation of Deterra packets will give law enforcement another tool to fight back against the drug epidemic in our communities,” said Attorney General Cameron. “Unused and expired prescription drugs are a public safety challenge, and we encourage every Kentucky household to properly dispose of these drugs so that they don’t pose a risk to children, family, and friends. Find a designated disposal location near you, and make a plan to properly dispose of your unused prescription medications.”
As part of the DEA’s Drug Take Back Day, 43 drug disposal locations will be operating in 26 Kentucky counties on October 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. In addition, the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy has identified 193 permanent prescription drug disposal locations in 116 of the Commonwealth’s counties.
“Addressing and educating Kentuckians about the importance of disposing of any unwanted or unused prescription medicine is a crucial public health issue,” said Representative Deanna Frazier, who represents part of Madison County. “The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day provides us an opportunity to further prevent the usage of these medications that could lead to addiction.”
“A majority of abused prescription drugs are procured from family and friends, often from someone’s home medicine cabinet,” said Representative Matthew Koch, who represents Bourbon County. “Kentucky is lucky to have great leaders like Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who takes these issues seriously. The program he is implementing will help further hinder overdoses and drug users across the Commonwealth.”
“Programs such as this reduce opioid utilization and help prevent pill and substance abuse within our communities,” said Senator Jared Carpenter. “I am encouraged by this initiative to promote an avenue to safely dispose of unused or unwanted prescription medications and look forward to a significant turnout on ‘Drug Take-Back Day.’”
“Safe disposal is a key element in addressing the vital public health and safety issue of the opioid epidemic,” said Senator Steve West. “Prescription drug abuse rates are staggering, as are the number of accidental overdoses and poisonings. Initiatives such as this help reduce the possibility of abuse and harm. I am appreciative of this collective commitment to help increase access to safe medication disposal in my district and around the Commonwealth.”
During last year’s Drug Take Back Day, Americans turned in nearly 883,000 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. The DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, has now collected nearly 6,350 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010.
The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. In the wrong hands, expired and unused prescription drugs can lead to overdoses, drug abuse, and accidental poisonings.
“The Berea Police Department is thankful for the support and gratitude from our local and state partners,” said Berea Police Chief Eric Scott. “We are especially grateful to have the Attorney General Daniel Cameron united with so many others here and across the Bluegrass to provide resources to assist all of our efforts in preventing unnecessary deaths related to illegal drug usage. Now, let’s take back our communities by limiting access to unused left over drugs. Let’s make this National Drug Take Back Day the day we save someone we love.”
“Paris Police has the luxury to be able to offer a safe prescription medication disposal site all year long, which is in the City Municipal Building,” said Paris Police Chief Myron Thomas. “During the ‘National Prescription Drug Take Back’ Day we are at a public location to offer this service, but also to educate about the proper procedures for disposal. The Deterra drug deactivation packets are an alternative to safely dispose of medication that might otherwise end up in a trash bin. As other options become available to help, I welcome them, to make the City of Paris a safe place.”
“Our office is always looking for opportunities to engage the citizens of Bourbon County in our efforts to fight back against the drug epidemic,” said Bourbon County Sheriff Tony Asbury. “Properly disposing of unwanted and unused prescription drugs is one way that we can all help prevent drug addiction and overdose, and I appreciate the donation of the Deterra drug deactivation packets from Attorney General Cameron to assist with our efforts.”
For Kentuckians who are unable to bring their prescription drugs to a designated drop-off location, Deterra drug deactivation packets allow for a safe at-home means to dispose of prescription drugs. The FDA also provides information on how to properly dispose of prescription drugs.
To learn more about the National Drug Take Back Day, click here.