National Drug Take Back Day is underway in South Bend

NOW: National Drug Take Back Day is underway in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - It's national drug take-back day. Hospitals, sheriff offices, and fire stations across the country are accepting unused prescription drugs in an effort to stop drug abuse, something that is a problem nationwide.

There were several collection sites around South Bend Saturday for anyone wanting to discard unused or unwanted drugs.

Expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs could be dangerous. That’s why twice a year anyone can forfeit their medicine on Drug Take Back Day.

“Obviously we want to get narcotics off the street,” John Horsley with Michiana Opioid Task Force said.

Horsley, there are several ways people are getting these unused medications, like young adults and teenagers going to parties to look for unused drugs.

“Sometimes people break into houses to get these unused medications,” he said.

But it can also be accidental.

“Children can get, accidentally take medications. Adults can accidentally take the wrong medication,” he said. “So, it’s just best to clean out those old medications every once and a while so nobody has a medication poison incident.”

Joe Facosi is a St. Joseph County Police Officer and Task Force Officer with the DEA, he said the event started to get those prescription drugs out of the home and a good step towards reducing unwanted drug abuse.

“One of the big reasons is misuse,” Facosi said. “The more drugs that you have within your household, the better the chance of it getting into the wrong hands.”

Anyone can bring their liquid and pill medications, even vape pens without batteries and vaping cartridges to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

Fire and police stations served as collection sites. According to the St. Joseph County Police Department, they received as much as 1,000 pounds of prescription medicine Saturday, up from last year.

”Last year I think our amounts were around 800 pounds just for this area,” Facosi said.

In the United States, last year over 900,000 pounds of prescription drugs were turned in. For the duration of the Take Back events, the DEA has taken in more than 11.8 million pounds of pills.

But Facosi says this isn’t the only avenue to dispose of unwanted meds.

“State police have these drop boxes that you can drop them off at any time, so you don’t always have to come to these events,” he said.

If you missed this one, there will be another Drug Take Back Day this spring.

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