Powerful Partnership Taking Back Unwanted Drugs

After a month of the county celebrating a drug-free message with the Red Ribbon campaign; the local Drug-Free Council wants residents to ensure that unwanted medications are properly disposed of.  On Saturday, October 27, Jackson County Drug-Free Council in coordination with the Jackson County Health Department, Jackson County United Way, Seymour Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the Jackson County public its opportunity to prevent drug abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted drugs. 

Bring your drugs for disposal at the following locations during the following times.  (Seymour Police will also accept liquids, needles, sharps, pills and patches.)  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Drug Take Back Locations and Times for the County are as follows:

  • Crothersville-Vernon Township Fire Department (200 Moore St, Crothersville IN 47229) from 9-11 AM
  • Brownstown Senior Center (124 S Main St, Brownstown IN 47220) from 11:30 AM- 1:30 PM
  • Medora Senior Center (52 W Main St, Medora IN 47260) from 2-4 PM
    • In partnership with the Senior Center’s Free Hot Dog event from 2-4 PM
  • Freetown Community Center (6789 N Union St, Freetown IN 47235) from 4:30-6:30 PM
    • In partnership with the Freetown Improvement Association Spaghetti Dinner Free Will Offering Fundraiser to keep the lights on from 4:30 -6:30 PM.
  • Jackson County Health Department (801 W 2nd St, Seymour IN 47274) from 10 AM- 2 PM

Last spring, Jackson County residents turned in 8 trash bags full of prescription drugs at 5 sites operated by the Drug-Free Council, Health Department, and Seymour Police Department.  In April 2018, nationally, nearly one million pounds or 475 tons of prescription drugs were collected at close to 6,000 sites operated by the DEA and more state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 15 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 9.9 million pounds—more than 4,982 tons—of prescription drugs.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.  Jackson County Health Department Public Health Coordinator, Lin Montgomery shared, “Family members may have been prescribed an opioid pain medication and no longer be taking it from a surgery or injury.  If it is not a drug you currently need drop it off, please peel off or mark through the identification.  You can let go of the worry of accidental overdose or possible home burglary when you drop it off at one of the locations on Saturday.”  

Tonja Couch, Jackson County United Way Executive Director, shared, “This year, based on what we heard, we’ve been more intentional about educating our senior population to empty their medicine cabinets of unused, unwanted, and expired drugs.  It is so important that this population understands the risk of keeping these medications in their home. We’ve also partnered with the Senior Centers and other community organizations to create an event around the Drug Take Back to encourage more neighbors to come out, drop off unwanted drugs, and learn more about resources available.” 

"One of the statements I hear most frequently is that families are left with unused medicine to dispose of after a loved one passes away and they are unsure of how or where to take the medicines.  Drug Take Back Day events are a perfect way to properly dispose of leftover medicines, whether they belong to you, someone else, or your pets.  All people need to clean out their cabinets to ensure these drugs do not get used by the wrong person," shared Jackson County Drug-Free Council Board President, AmyMarie Travis.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. “This is important that residents know how to lock up their medications- and if unwanted how to dispose of it,” stated Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott. “We want to make it easy with the support Drug-Free Council and United Way for residents to dispose of unwanted drugs.”

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards. “It is important for the public to dispose of unused drugs properly,” shared Brenda Turner, Drug-Free Council Director.  “All unwanted drugs can be turned over all year long at the following locations: Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Seymour Police Department, and Crothersville Police Department.”

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs, how the community is addressing the issue, and what you can do to help check out: www.drugfreecouncil.org or Jackson County Drug-Free Council on Facebook.   The Drug-Free Council meets the second Tuesday of the Month at 4 PM at the Community Foundation.  For more information or to get involved in the Drug-Free Council contact Brenda Turner (drugfree@frontier.com) or visit the website: http://www.drugfreecouncil.org.