MASON COUNTY — The Mason County Sheriff’s Department along with members of the Mason County Anti-Drug Coalition participated in the National Drug Take Back Day this Saturday.
Deputy Sheriff Ronnie Spencer and coalition members set up a tent and collection site at the Mason County Courthouse parking lot from 10 am to 2 pm to collect unwanted or expired medications from citizens of Mason County. Around 40-45 cars drove up to the tent to deposit medications, some a few bottles and some had shopping bags full. This gets medications out of the homes and off the streets.
According to organizers, many persons expressed appreciation that they were glad to have a safe place to discard medications. The Mason County Anti-Drug Coalition is working with the sheriff’s department to possibly obtain a permanent drop off box for medications and at the next National Drug Take Back Day, it is hoped to have an additional location in New Haven for citizens to drop off unwanted medications in the Bend Area.
This is the third year the National Drug Take Back Day has been held in Mason County and each year it continues to grow. The event is a nationwide effort, coordinated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Mason County Sheriff’s Department and Mason County Anti-Drug Coalition.
The idea behind the event is to protect children, families and environment by properly disposing of unwanted and expired medicines. According to figures from the DEA, medicines in the home are a leading cause of accidental poisoning and flushed or trashed medicines can end up polluting our waters. Rates of prescription drug abuse are alarmingly high — over half of teens abusing medicines get them from a family member or friend, including the home medicine cabinet, and often without their knowledge.
It’s hoped the event can be extended into happening twice a year and that the coalition and sheriff’s department can develop a permanent drug drop-off station. The funding for the proposed drop-off will come from the Mason County Anti-Drug Coalition.