‘Take Back Day’: North Fulton police to collect expired prescription drugs

Police officers in north Fulton and other communities will be collecting unused and expired prescription drugs Saturday in a bi-annual initiative to prevent misuse. AJC FILE
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Police officers in north Fulton and other communities will be collecting unused and expired prescription drugs Saturday in a bi-annual initiative to prevent misuse. AJC FILE

Police expect to take hundreds of pounds of drugs from north Fulton residents this weekend. Police officers in north Fulton and other communities will be collecting unused and expired prescription drugs Saturday in a biannual initiative to prevent misuse.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day event held in October and April allows people to drop off medications at participating police departments or other locations from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Johns Creek Police will have a site at the Kroger supermarket located at 10945 State Bridge Road. At the close of the event, the DEA will take the bagged prescription drugs and discard them, Johns Creek spokesman Bob Mullen said. He added that the police department will receive a report at a later date on the amount of the drugs taken in from the community.

Alyse Hensel with One Johns Creek, a coalition of organizations and residents working to reduce drug use among youth through public promotions and awareness, said Johns Creek police collected nearly 600 pounds of prescriptions drugs during the April event. One Johns Creek is helping to organize the event locally, she said.

The coalition’s data shows more than 60% of Johns Creek High School students who misused prescription drugs during a 30-day period in 2020 had thoughts of suicide.

“Drug Take Back day is super important because the (DEA’s) statistics show 90% of misuse comes from home medicine cabinets,” Hensel said.

The government agency’s website cites a 2019 survey that showed 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers that year. In addition, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives.

Hensel said One Johns Creek has plans for public service announcements on billboards in north Fulton to help combat drug abuse.

On Saturday, coalition members at the Kroger location will provide free Deterra pouches which can be used to safely get rid of unwanted medications at home, she said. The pouches are made to deactivate medicines and can be sealed and thrown in the trash.

More agencies participating in Take Back Day include Roswell Police at the Roswell Recycling Center, 11570 Maxwell Road and the Milton Police Department at 13690 Highway 9.

Dunwoody and Norcross police will be taking back drugs at their respective precincts, as will the Gwinnett County Police Department at its central precinct.

For more information and locations visit the event website at takebackday.dea.gov.

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