Wichita Mountains Prevention Network (WMPN) is once again asking the community for their help in cleaning up unwanted prescription drugs.

WMPN will host a “Take Back” drug day in conjunction with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) from noon to 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 26. This event provides Stephens County residents with their 17th opportunity in nine years “to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding … homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.”

Pills can be disposed of at Duncan Regional Hospital, which will play host to a drive-thru styled event. The take back spot will be located on the south side of Duncan Regional Hospital’s Learning Center, located on Scott Street. Sites are not allowed to accept liquids, needles or sharps and may only take back pills or patches, according to WMPN.

“The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked,” states a release from WMPN. “Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 460 tons — more than 900,000 pounds — of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds — nearly 5,500 tons — of pills.”

The Take Back Day events, according to WMPN, serve as initiative to address a public safety and health issue.

“Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” states WMPN. “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. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. 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.”

For more information about safely disposing prescription drugs or on the April 26 event, contact Erica Ray at 580-355-5246 Ext. 101 or visit the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network Facebook.

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