Area law enforcement agencies collecting old prescription medicines

Sonny Long

April 26, 2012 at 4 p.m.
Updated April 25, 2012 at 11:26 p.m.

Cuero Police Sgt. Sam Saunders knows first-hand the danger of prescription drugs in the wrong hands.

"Prescription drug abuse is on the rise," Saunders said. "It's becoming the most preferred drug among teenagers."

Saunders said children raid their parents' medicine cabinets for the drugs, some of them old and outdated but still possibly lethal in the wrong hands.

Hydrocodone especially, for example, is a highly addictive medication that could be sitting in medicine cabinets and is being abused by the kids, Saunders said.

The Cuero Police Department and other area law enforcement agencies are taking part in the National Medication Take-back Initiative, a program of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

There is no charge and no questions will be asked to drop off the expired medication.

"This is a great opportunity to get rid of those expired prescriptions. Just drive up and drop them off," Saunders said. "Not only does it keep them out of the hands of those who would abuse them, it also keeps them out of our water system if a person was to simply flush them."

Saunders said the department held a similar drive during a health fair in October and collected 40 pounds of old prescription drugs.

Nationally, Americans who participated in the DEA's third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in 2011, turned in more than 377,086 pounds (188.5 tons) of unwanted or expired medications.

Saunders said Saturday's drop-off site is not only for Cuero residents.

"It's open to people outside of Cuero, too, if they want to come and dispose of their old medications safely," Saunders said.

"Hopefully this initiative will help eliminate some teen medication abuse," Saunders said. "It's a positive step."

The take-back program will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In addition to the Cuero Police Department, the Victoria County Sheriff's Office and the Bay City Police Department and Matagorda County Sheriff's Office are taking part in the program.

Jackson County Sheriff A. J. Louderback encouraged Jackson County residents to take advantage of the location in Victoria County to get rid of their old medications.



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