Area law enforcement officers collected 28 pounds of prescription drugs Nov. 9 in the Carter County’s first mobile drug take-back event.
The event was coordinated by the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network, Ardmore Police Department, Carter County Sheriff’s Office and Ratliff City Police Department. Officers in marked cars picked up medications from noon to 4 p.m. that day at the homes of participating Carter County residents.
“We were more than happy to partner with the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network and the Carter County Sheriff’s Office in this endeavor of picking up and responsibly
destroying unused medications,” said Deputy Police Chief Kevin Norris in a press release. “This is a prime example that if we work together, we can make our community a safer place.”
From 2006-2015, 95 people in Carter County died from opioid-related deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Wichita Mountains Prevention Network Coordinator Lisa Jackson said that figure ranks Carter County high not only in comparison to other counties in the state, but also nationwide.
“We’re trying to educate the public on safety measures to not share medication, taking it as prescribed, safely storing it and keeping it away from people,” Jackson said.
The Wichita Mountains Prevention Network was uncertain of the level of reception the mobile take-back event would receive at the start, but plan to host multiple similar events in the near future in the wake of the first’s success.
Plans for more centralized drug take-back events, at area parks or local events, are in the works. Jackson said the prevention network is interested in conducting multiple per year, perhaps as soon as Earth Day next year, she said.
Contact the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network at 580-490-9197 for questions on safe use, storage or disposal of prescription medication.