The Drug Enforcement Agency will sponsor its 10th annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday.

Minden police chief Steve Cropper says anyone wishing to get rid of old, unwanted or unneeded prescriptions can bring them to the Minden Police Department between those hours. Once the event ends, the old pills will be picked up and disposed of safely.

“They bring a drop box up here, and it’s here all day,” Cropper said. “It’s a place where people can dispose of old narcotics or prescriptions they don’t use. Or if mama passes away and she had medications, the family can bring them up here and dispose of them. I’ve had several people in situations in the past come up here where a family member passed away and there was a bunch of medication in the house. They didn’t want to flush it, and they didn’t know what to do with it, so it gives them an opportunity to drop it off.”

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, according to the DEA. Many Americans are not aware that medicines languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

“Prescription drug abuse is a big problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat,” DEA acting administrator Chuck Rosenberg said. “Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”

The Minden Police Department is hosting the event in conjunction with the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office.

In the previous nine take-back events, nationwide from 2010-2014, 4,823,251 pounds or 2,411 tons of drugs were collected.

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