Local law enforcement agencies are encouraging people this weekend to leave their unused prescription drugs in their hands.
The Bowling Green Police Department, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Kentucky State Police and Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force are participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday.
The event is part of a nationwide campaign meant to prevent theft and abuse of prescription medications.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, officers will staff collection points in the county where people can anonymously dispose of unwanted or expired prescription drugs.
“We try to make it as convenient as possible to get these unused drugs off your shelf so they don’t go on the street,” said Tommy Loving, director of the drug task force.
Local collection points for the take-back event are at BGPD headquarters, KSP Post 3 and Greenwood High School, which will be staffed by members of the sheriff’s office.
Collection points outside BGPD and KSP headquarters are available at all times for drug disposal, and a bin is available during regular business hours at the Warren County Courthouse, but disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have limited opportunities for people to safely dispose of unwanted medications.
“With a more open-air environment this weekend, we hope to entice some folks to come out,” Warren County Sheriff Brett Hightower said.
Typically held twice a year, the national take-back day addresses a public safety issue.
The 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health said 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs, with a majority of those abused drugs being obtained from family and friends.
Local law enforcement hope the take-back event can decrease the potential supply of medications subject to abuse.
“Between all the locations (locally) we come up with several hundred pounds (of collected medication),” Loving said. “Nationwide, the DEA has collected over 600 tons of unused medicines, and when you get that much off the street it helps us on the drug enforcement end.”
– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.