Drug take back initiatives take in 1,500+ pounds of unused medications in 2015

Submitted photo.
Volunteers in Waxahachie during the 2015 Drug Take Back effort.

ELLIS COUNTY — The 2015 drug take back effort saw more than 1,500 pounds of unused and expired prescription medications collected in Ellis County. Several local law enforcement agencies, including the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, and other organizations participate in the initiatives, which include Operation Medicine Drop and Take It To THE BOX Prescription Drug Return.

The Sept. 26 drug take back collected 927 pounds of medications. Earlier this year, the April drug take back collected 629 pounds. A drug take back event is typically held in the spring and fall each year.

These programs assist the community by allowing people to dispose of their unused or expired medications safely and anonymously. The collection helps prevent the medications getting into the hands of people they don’t belong to, particularly teens. It also helps protect the environment because the drugs aren’t thrown away in the trash or flushed down a toilet into the water system. All of the drugs that are collected are taken to the DEA for secure disposal.

The following list shows the pounds of prescription medications that were collected Sept. 26 at each of the locations where drop-off sites were set up and staffed by law enforcement personnel and community volunteers:

• Waxahachie – 221
• Ennis – 238
• Palmer – 35
• Italy – 8
• Red Oak – 217
• Ferris – 7
• Midlothian – 201

Participating law enforcement agencies involved with the September drug take back included the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, Ennis ISD Police Department, Ennis Police Department, Ferris Police Department, Italy Police Department, Midlothian Police Department, Palmer Police Department, Red Oak Police Department, Waxahachie Police Department, and Ellis County Constable Pct. 1; the organizations and businesses included Ellis County Drug-Free Coalition, Impact Communities, Reach Council Prevention Services, Waxahachie ISD, CVS Pharmacy and Walmart.

This is the sixth year for the Sheriff’s Office to participate in the collection initiative. During the April 2015 collection, 629 pounds of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs were collected in Ellis County as a result of the drug take back initiatives.