Dump The Drugs Saturday

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From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 26, residents can get rid of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications at Walmart.

This is the eighth time in three years that the Gila County Sher­iff’s Office, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Payson Police De­partment and the Drug Enforce­ment Administration (DEA) have hosted the free event in an effort to curb pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Residents can drop off pills at 300 N. Beeline Highway. Liquids, needles or sharps are not accepted due to safety concerns.

A GCSO deputy will also man a collection site in Pleasant Valley/ Young at the Pleasant Valley Fire Department from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Last October, Americans turned in 324 tons of prescription drugs at more than 4,100 sites operated by the DEA.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. And the rate of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. is high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose safety hazards.

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