Last September, 244 tons of unwanted prescription drugs were taken off the streets. But don’t expect overdoses, police sirens and arrests. In this case, people willingly handed unneeded drugs in to police during Take Back events across the county, including in Payson.
This year, the April 27 Take Back day runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Walmart parking lot, at 300 N. Beeline Highway, the sixth such Rim Country event in three years.
Gila County Sheriff’s Sgt. John France said the event addresses a vital public safety and health issue, since medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Prescription drug abuse in the U.S. remains alarmingly high as well as the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses.
Studies show that the majority of abused prescription drugs are taken from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Unfortunately, simply flushing unused medicines down the toilet or dumping them in the trash poses safety and health hazards.
That is why the GCSO, Payson Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are teaming up to prevent pill abuse and theft.
Residents can bring expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs to the Walmart parking lot April 27. The service is free and anonymous.
In past Take Back events, the DEA and its partners took in more than 2 million pounds of pills.
People can also drop off unneeded prescription drugs year-round at the Payson Police Department in the green Med Return Box.