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Police to accept unwanted pills
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Community Drug Disposal Day will be held this Saturday, April 21. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at McMinnville Police Department.
“Prescription and over-the-counter medications will be accepted anonymously and destroyed,” said McMinnville Police Investigator Capt. Derwin Adcock, who is in charge of collecting, bagging and sealing the medications.
The department offers drug disposal days to get unused medications/ drugs out of people’s homes in an effort to prevent them from finding a new home on the street. Allowing donators to remain anonymous encourages participation.
“We want to encourage everyone to look through their medicines and drop off any that are unwanted,” said Adcock. “It’s completely anonymous. You will not be asked any personal information.”
Community Drug Disposal Day is a joint effort between the department, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) at the high school, and the District Attorney General’s office of Lisa Zavogiannis.
During the last collection day, nearly 25 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medications were donated.
“This is our fourth community disposal day,” said SADD sponsor Lynn Seals. “Combined, we have taken nearly 75 pounds of drugs out of people’s homes. Those are medications that will never make it to the street.”
SADD has not missed an opportunity to help.
“We are delighted to help again this year,” said Seals. “Prescription drugs are probably the most abused because they are readily available and not locked away.”
This year’s SADD team consists of Colyn Young, Hope Scott, Brooke Scott, Mindy King, Ethan Turner, Kara Campbell, Kaenah Smith, Jon Ewton, Simey Emerson, Bliss Zechman and Ashley Dyer. Taking unwanted medications out of the home fits the team’s mission to discourage destructive decisions involving alcohol, drugs and violence.
Seals says part of the problem with prescription and over-the-counter medications is some people never throw anything away.
“I’m just as guilty of it,” she said. “You get it, use part of it and put it away. What happens though is they lose their chemical makeup over time. Mixing them with other drugs is a recipe for disaster. Do yourself and your children a favor and get rid of them this Saturday.”
According to The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, every day 2,500 teenagers use a prescription drug they find at home to get high for the first time. Approximately 60 percent of teens who have abused prescription painkillers did so before age 15.
In order to legally destroy the medication collected, the district attorney’s office obtains a court order. Once the items are burned, the court order is filed.