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Drug take-back a success

By Nick Walter, Islander Reporter

Prescription drugs collected at the Holmes Beach Police Department Sept. 25 almost filled this 3-foot tall bin.

The Holmes Beach Police Department last week collaborated with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on the National Take-Back Initiative.

HBPD’s Lt. Dale Stephenson said the take-back went better than he expected, with about 20 people going to HBPD Sept. 25 to dispose of unwanted or expired medications.

“The pills aren’t healthy for the environment to be flushed because they get into the aquifer,” Stephenson said. “Or even if they get thrown away they end up in the landfill.”

Stephenson said the program also could have a positive effect on crime.

“At least these people who are getting rid of the medications know they won’t possibly come into the hands of juveniles,” Stephenson said. “I don’t have any record of this, but accidental suicides by prescription overdose are pretty high.”

It was the first time the DEA held the nine events from Pensacola to Fort Myers. Together with the DEA’s “A Bag’s Life program,” also held Sept. 25, the DEA collected 2,200 retail plastic bags to be recycled, more than 120 used cell phones and 140 chargers to be donated to charity, and 730 pounds or 220 bottles of medications to be disposed or destroyed.

At the conclusion of the Holmes Beach event, HBPD Officer Joel Pierce sealed the box of medications and turned it over to the DEA for disposal.

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