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Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will collect unused and expired medications Saturday during national ‘take back’ event

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The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will join thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country this weekend collecting expired or unused prescription and over-the-counter medications from the public.

Deputies will accept medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at a drive-thru in the parking lot between the Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th St., and the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. The Drug Take Back Day event is a partnership between local agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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“The Sheriff’s Office continues to offer these events twice a year so that residents can have a safe and convenient way to dispose of unused medications,” Sheriff Jay Armbrister said in a news release. “It’s great that people can clean out their cabinets and have this option to turn them in and know they will be disposed of safely.”

According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, changes in chemical composition or decrease in strength can cause medications to be less effective or even risky to take after their expiration dates. Other medications, especially opioids, can fall into the wrong hands leading to dangerous reactions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 50,000 children each year are taken to the emergency room after ingesting medications not intended for them.

Veterinary drugs will be accepted at Saturday’s event, but the sheriff’s office will not take needles, other sharps, or inhalers.

Drug Take Back Day events seek to prevent unused or expired medications from potentially being abused or misused by others or from being disposed in a manner that poses potential safety and health hazards to the public and the environment.

During the October 2021 event, 4,276 law enforcement agencies nationwide collected 372 tons of unused or expired medication.

More information about Saturday’s event, including additional collection sites, can be found online at the National Take Back Day website. Visit the U.S. Department of Justice’s website to find locations for year-round controlled substance disposal.

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