Area residents with no-longer-used or outdated prescription drugs can safely dispose of them Saturday.
A Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be conducted 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking of Walgreen's, located at 1111 N. Commerce St. The event is being sponsored by the Carter County Substance Abuse Prevention Committee, Ardmore Police Department and the local store.
"Anyone can come by and drop off unused prescription medications," says Amanda Prince, CCSAPC Region 10 prevention coordinator.
Discussing the purpose of the event, Prince explains, "CCSAPC wants to encourage the safe storage and disposal of prescription medications, especially focusing on the need to eliminate potentially abusive and dangerous prescription drugs."
Holding on to no-longer-needed or out-of-date narcotics, which Capt. Kevin Norris, Ardmore Police Department interim chief, says are commonly labeled "scheduled," is risky because they are easily stolen and either shared or resold.
"This activity is a leading cause of abuse, and is especially true among teenagers," Prince says, pointing to statistics that show 56 percent of teens obtain prescription medications from friends or relatives as compared to 18 percent who had the medicines prescribed to them by a doctor."
Prescription drug abuse in Oklahoma has been described as being at epidemic proportions. The statement is backed by these facts:
n Between 2007 and 2011, 3,200 unintentional poisoning deaths were reported in Oklahoma
n At least one prescription drug played a role in 81 percent of those unintentional poisoning deaths
n As late as 2013, 78,000 children under age 5 were treated for poisonings in U.S. hospital emergency rooms, and 45 percent of those poisonings were linked to medications
Saturday, all prescriptions in pill, capsule or tablet form will be accepted.
"Unfortunately we cannot accept syringes, liquids, chemicals or inhalers," Prince says.
Sponsors are urging area residents to take advantage of the opportunity to rid their households of no-longer-needed or outdated prescriptions. Ardmore police will be in charge of disposing of the drugs collected in a secure and environmentally safe manner.
"The CCSAPC believes that for all of the described concerns, it is for the benefit of your family and our community to dispose of unused medications. During the event, Walgreen's is also offering drug safes, take-back envelopes, and sharps containers at cost," Prince says, adding those unable to take advantage of the special one-day event have another option. "There is a Prescription Drug Take-Back drop box always available in the lobby of the Carter County Sheriff's Office, located 100 S. Washington St."