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National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative set for Saturday

Sheriff Mark Hebert announces that the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s office will once again participate in the National Take-Back Initiative coordinated through the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) this Saturday, September 27, 2014 between 10am and 2pm at the West St. Mary Civic Center and the Berwick Civic Center.

Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they can be accidentally ingested, stolen, misused, and abused. The initiative gives the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their home of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription pills.

While the number of Americans who currently abuse prescription drugs dropped in 2013 to 6.5 million from 6.8 million in 2012, that is still more than double the number of those using heroin, cocaine, and hallucinogens like LSD and Ecstasy combined, according to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In addition, 22,134 Americans died in 2011 from overdoses of prescription medications, including 16,651 from narcotic painkillers, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey cited above also indicated that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from friends or relatives and includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.

The public may bring pills or patches only for disposal to one of two sites hosted by the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office. This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Expired, unused, or unwanted medications may be brought to one of two locations: the West St. Mary Civic Center at 1472 LA Hwy. 318 in Jeanerette or the Berwick Civic Center at 300 Pattie Drive in Berwick. The National Take-Back Initiative will be held this Saturday, September 27, 2014 between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.


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