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Police Encourage use of Drug take Back Boxes

posted Feb 4, 2013, 2:18 PM by Kimberly Otero   [ updated Mar 31, 2014, 4:22 PM by Tyson Kennedy ]

The Mesquite Police Department would like to remind residents that  permanent Drug Take Back program drop boxes are located in the lobbies of the Police Department, 695 Mayan Circle, and at the Justice Center, 500 Hillside Drive.   The boxes are designed for safe disposal of prescription and over-the-counter pill medications.

Captain Shane Charles encourages residents to use the Drug Take Back Boxes as a means to reduce access to prescription drugs in the community, especially among the teen population.  More teens abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine combined.  Teens say prescription drugs are widely available from a variety of sources, including their home medicine cabinets, and those of friends and relatives.

According to the National Association of Drug Diverters, “America’s 12 to 17 year olds have made prescription drugs the number one substance of abuse for their age group, and much of that supply is unwittingly coming from the medicine cabinets of their parents, grandparents, and friends. More and more adults recognize the need to remove these substances from the home. Law enforcement is the only entity legally able to accept these medications and process them properly so that they do not fall into the wrong hands.

Drop boxes significantly reduce the prescription drugs in American homes that are either no longer needed or outdated. These same drugs unfortunately have become the target of theft and misuse, oftentimes by people who have access to the residence.”

“Residents can help in the effort to stop drug diversion by getting expired and unused prescription and over the counter medications out of medicine cabinets,” said Charles.

Residents are reminded the drop boxes are for the pills only.  Bottles, liquids, inhalers, syringes and other medical devices are not accepted at drop box locations.  

Despite previous recommendations issued by multiple government agencies flushing medication down the drain is no longer a preferred method for disposal of medication. Flushing of medication can contaminate water systems and lead to unhealthy drinking water. Drug Take Back Boxes in the City of Mesquite have been provided by The Clark County Water Reclamation District in order to promote clean water.  

The Reclamation District provides the following information on their website: “When you flush medication down your drain, it ends up at one of our treatment facilities. These ingredients can remain in the treated water when it is released into the water cycle.

When prescription or over-the-counter drugs are flushed down the sink or toilet, their chemical components may be added to the water supply. The presence of these substances in the environment is emerging as an important national and international issue. Although the concentration levels of these products in the environment is very low, research and monitoring are continuing worldwide.

Putting medications down the drain is not just a local concern. Increasingly, prescription and non-prescription medications, many of which are not effectively destroyed by sewage treatment plants, are finding their way into streams and drinking water supplies. A study conducted by the United States Geological Survey found that 80 percent of the 139 streams sampled across 30 states detected very low concentrations of chemicals commonly found in prescription drugs. While the concentration levels of these products are very low, they may be enough to cause adverse effects in the environment and to human health.”

Charles said the drop boxes are emptied on a regular basis and items disposed of properly by incineration. For more information contact the Mesquite Police Department at 702-346-5262.