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SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Police Department collected 26 pounds of prescription drugs during Saturday’s Drug Take-Back event. The collection station staged in the Walgreens parking lot on Coffeen Avenue was part of a national initiative of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
The National Take-Back Initiative is based on the basis that many people, at some time, stumble upon a circumstance where they have a surplus of prescription drugs on hand after a medical event. While the person the drugs are originally intended for might leave them in a medicine cabinet and forget about them for an indefinite period of time, others with drug abuse issues might target the surplus drugs as a supply source.
In one scenario commonly described by investigators, a visitor will ask to use someone’s bathroom and use the few minutes of unsupervised time to hunt for prescription drugs, especially medications for pain, anxiety and some behavioral disorders, that can be sold on the street for cash or used by the thief.
The remedy, according to the DEA, is to get unneeded prescriptions out of homes and into the hands of law enforcement officials who can dispose of the substances in an environmentally appropriate manner.
While the SPD, along with many police departments around the nation, conduct periodic public reception stations for unwanted medications, the police department also has a drop box located immediately inside the entrance to the station. Drug deposits are taken on a “no questions asked” basis for safe disposal during regular business hours.
SPD Sgt. Travis Koltiska said in a press release that over the past six months, the take box inside the department’s lobby has collected 70 pounds of prescription medications.
The weights used referring to the surrendered medications do not include packaging of the drugs.