MACON, Mo.– According to a recent press release from the Macon Area Chamber of Commerce, on April 30, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Macon Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its tenth opportunity in five years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. pills

Macon Police Department is pairing with the Macon Municipal Utilities and the Macon County Public Water Supply District to prevent pill abuse and theft as well as protecting our local environment from these harmful drugs being disposed of improperly.

Authorities encourage the public to bring pills for disposal to C&R Supermarket Parking Lot at 703 East Briggs Drive. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons (over 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 10 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds—more than 2,750 tons—of pills. During the Take Back Event last September, Macon Police Department collected 109 pounds of unwanted medications.

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. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. 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 potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 30 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website.