A Garvin County law enforcement agency is combining forces with an area drug prevention group to give residents here a chance to turn in expired or unused prescription drugs.
The public will get the chance to safely dispose of any unwanted prescriptions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4 at the sheriff’s department office located in the Garvin County Courthouse in Pauls Valley.
Called the “Take-Back” initiative, the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network’s Region 10 Area Prevention Resource Center in Ardmore is partnering with county deputies here to hold the one-day drop off for the prescription drugs that will later be destroyed.
The service is free and anonymous with no questions asked, said Raye Shilen, prevention specialist with the Ardmore center that includes Garvin County in its coverage area.
The idea is simply to give the public an opportunity to safely dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs
“In the past they would tell people to flush their old prescription drugs down the toilet,” Shilen said.
“But we’ve found that is harmful to the environment. Turning in these drugs is better than flushing them down a toilet or leaving them in a landfill,” she said.
In some studies, Shilen said, small amounts of these medications are being found in different water supplies around the country, which makes drop-off sites and the incineration of the drugs a safer way of disposal.
The drop off is basically for any prescription drugs that have already expired or are not going to be used, such as pain medications. It also includes over-the-counter drugs.
“Someone asked me if they could turn in old Tylenol. I told her of course you can, “Shilen said.
The safe disposal of old prescriptions also keeps from storing the medications for a long time where they could be found by children or be a target for theft.
“Keeping expired drugs in your home also provides a greater risk of those drugs being stolen. This also keeps drugs out of the hands of kids,” she said.
She stresses no liquids, syringes or paraphernalia will be accepted.
The collection site on Monday will be in or near the sheriff’s office in the county courthouse.
All collected medications will be packaged and forwarded to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation lab to be properly destroyed.
For more information about the Take-Back program, contact Sgt. Zac Henderson at (405) 238-1121.