Coon Rapids Police take back unwanted prescriptions, other drugs

For four hours Oct. 26, people came to the Coon Rapids Police Department to drop off prescription and non-prescription drugs.

The police department was once again taking part in the national take back initiative for prescription drugs.

According to Terry Thomton, Coon Rapids community policing officer, 275 pounds of prescription and non-prescription drugs and materials were collected.

And 117 people participated, not just from Coon Rapids, Thomton said.

“We had one lady from Apple Valley and one gentleman from Plymouth,” he said.

The drugs and materials collected were placed in sealed boxes and incinerated at an undisclosed located by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

“I am always astounded by the number of people that take part in this event and the amount of drugs that are collected,” said Coon Rapids Police Chief Brad Wise.

Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, cough syrup etc. were accepted at no cost, but no needles or sharps of any kind as well as insulin pens or injectors could be brought in, Thomton said.

This was the second time this year, the first was in April, that the police department had hosted the take back program for prescription and over-the-counter drugs, according to Thomton.

The number of people taking part and pounds collected were comparable.

“There is no residency requirement,” Thomton said.

The Coon Rapids event was part of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s national take back initiative.

“This was an opportunity to safely empty out your medicine cabinet of drugs you don’t need any longer or have expired, including prescription drugs that contain controlled substances,” the DEA states on its website.

About one in eight prescription drugs contain active ingredients that the federal government limits in distribution and handles in a special, secure way, according to the DEA.

The DEA launched the take-back program because of its concern that prescription drugs containing controlled substances are being misused and abused at alarming rates in America today, leading to cases of accidental poisoning, overdose and addiction, and making them a public safety issue.

“A factor contributing to their increased usage is their availability in the home medicine cabinet,” the DEA states.

“In many cases, medicines containing controlled substances remain in the home medicine cabinet long after therapy has been completed, thus making these easily accessible to others who would misuse or abuse them.”

Peter Bodley is at
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