St. Louis County residents help fight opioid addiction with prescription take back day

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO - Saturday, as part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back day, law enforcement agencies across the country both at the state and local level along with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) encouraged residents to help them get unwanted and unused prescriptions out of their cabinets and off the streets by dropping them into designated bins at their local precinct.

Douglas Anders of St. Louis County said that his battle with cancer put him on several prescription drugs. Many of which he couldn’t finish or had expired.

“I didn’t want it lying around so I heard about this program and decided better here than in my house,” Anders said.

“I think it’s a shame that people get addicted to drugs,” he continued, “and we want to make it not easily available so if everyone turns in their extra drugs we would have less of a problem.”

In an effort to combat the widespread and growing opioid addiction and overdose deaths, the St. Louis County Police Department dedicated 12 sites where anyone with unused and unwanted prescription meds could drop them off into a cardboard bin, no questions asked.

“It’s a day to day issue,” said Officer, Brandon McCrary, with the Jennings precinct. “I see overdose calls at least two, three times a week.”

According to the DEA’s website, earlier this year it collected and destroyed close to one million pounds-and nearly 475 tons of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

“It makes the community safe because these medications are not getting into the wrong hands or getting into our water streams, that’s when people try to flush down the medications,” McCrary went on to say.

Meanwhile, Anders said that he cares about his community and wants to help keep it safe by encouraging other people to dispose of their unwanted medications the right way.

“This may encourage them to look at their own situation and their own drug supply if they have drugs sitting around their house it’s better to participate and turn them in,” Anders said.