Medication take back event hopes to prevent misuse, overdose

Wulf James-Roby
The Daily Ardmoreite

The Carter County Substance Abuse Prevention Committee (CCSAPC) and collaborators will host a Drive-Thru Prescription Drug Take Back Event from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 17, on the south side of Lowe’s parking lot in Ardmore. CCSAPC members will be available to collect and dispose of prescription medications which are no longer needed, no questions asked.  

Lisa Jackson, the Community Based Coalition Coordinator for Carter County with the 

Wichita Mountains Prevention Network said that the Coalition has collected 176 pounds of expired prescription medication through similar events since November 2017.  

"Medication disposal saves lives,” Jackson said. “It will prevent small children, animals, and loved ones from ingesting the medication, causing unintentional overdoses and overdose deaths.” 

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Area agencies collaborate for drive through medication take back events several times a year in hopes to prevent misuse and overdose of prescription drugs.

Why medications must be properly disposed

Disposing of your medication will remove it from your home, and it will help prevent it being taken by someone and sold on the streets. 

 Jackson said that records show there were 67 unintentional overdose deaths in Carter County during the period from 2013-2017.

“According to the Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment Survey (OPNA), 6.1% of 10th grade students surveyed have abused a prescription drug in their lifetime and 7.1 % of the 10th graders surveyed got the medication from home,"  Jackson said,

In addition to the drive-thru event, CCSAPC has collaborated with local law enforcement to organize a medication pick up from area homes and businesses. To schedule a pick up, call the Carter County Substance Abuse Prevention Committee (CCSAPC) at 580-768-4469. Medication pick-ups will be scheduled to occur between 4 and 7 p.m. on November 17. These pickups will involve a CCSAPC coalition member and a police officer, in a marked vehicle, arriving in person to pick up medications for proper disposal from anywhere in Carter County. These pick-ups are anonymous and judgement-free. The Ardmore Police Department and the Lone Grove Police Department are both working with the coalition to provide this service. The Coalition will be unable to accept illicit drugs, liquids, needles, or inhalers during this event. 

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"Improperly disposed of prescriptions can harm the environment, including our drinking water and food sources,” Jackson said. Properly disposing of medication that may be un-needed or expired not only protects the environment from chemicals entering the water and ground if medications are flushed or tossed into a landfill, it also protects your loved ones by removing the possiblity for misuse or overdose.   

Medication that is not properly locked up in your home, may become deadly if it falls into the wrong hands. At the event, request a lock box for your home so this does not happen to you or a loved one. Lock Boxes will be available at the event while supplies last.   

Lighthouse Behavioral Wellness Centers will be providing free Naloxone kits during the event as well. Naloxone is an intranasal medication that is used to reverse opioid (aka pain medication) overdoses. Keeping Naloxone on hand can be life saving in the case of accidental or purposeful overdose or misuse of prescription pain medications. Coalition members will be available to discuss the use and storage of the Naloxone kits at the event.  

  For more information on the event, contact CCSAPC at ccsapc@gmail.com, or visit their Facebook page @CCSAPC.