Police Department

Police Participate In Drug Take Back Event

For immediate release: February 9, 2016

Police Participate In Drug Take Back Event

On April 30, 2016, the Independence Police Department will participate in a Prescription Drug Take Back. From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm we will take and properly dispose of your unused, expired, or unwanted drugs. The event will be located in the north City Hall parking lot at 111 E. Maple Avenue just off Truman Road.

The purpose of the event is to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. “The numbers are shocking - approximately 46,000 Americans die each year from drug-related deaths. More than half of those are from heroin and prescription opioids,” said Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “With four out of five new heroin users starting with prescription medications, I know our take-back program makes a real difference.” 

The National Drug Take-Back Initiative (NDTBI) addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.5 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. That same study showed that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. The DEA’s NTBI events are also a significant piece of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s prescription drug abuse prevention strategy. 

The most common question we receive is regarding the labels on pill bottles. No, they do not have to be removed. Everything recovered is sealed in a box and transported to an incinerator.

Questions & Answers

Q: May we accept the containers that the drugs come in as well as the drugs? Yes, you may. No need to separate the drugs from the vials. Plastic and glass are acceptable; however, NO NEEDLES.

Q: May we accept pre-loaded syringes? Yes, as long as the needle has been removed by the patient. An example of a safe to collect item is an Epi-Pen.

Q: What advice should we give those who bring syringes with needles that we cannot accept? Believe it or not, the following advice comes from the waste disposal industry. Advise the user to place the syringes in an empty plastic laundry detergent container. Screw the cap back on the container, mark the bottle “SHARPS” with a pen and dispose in the trash.

Q: May we accept inhalers? No. We can’t accept inhalers or any aerosol medications because they “pop” or explode at the incineration facility.

Q: May we accept veterinary drugs? Yes. Veterinary drugs are available by Rx and over-the-counter (OTC). ALL Rx and OTC drugs are acceptable. The species of the “consumer” does not matter.

Q: My local pharmacist says we have to remove the Rx label from the vials before we can accept them per HIPPA privacy rules? No. HIPPA does not apply to you or this situation. This is a voluntary project that is consumer driven. You are under no obligation to remove anything from any label. The consumer should remove or deface the label if they are concerned before placing the vial in the box. All material in these containers will be incinerated. You may reassure the public that their privacy is being protected.

Q: May we accept medications from a nursing home? Yes. Medications dispensed to clients in a nursing home are prescribed to the patient and are not the property of the nursing home, so they may be accepted.

Q: A local doctor/veterinarian/pharmacy or hospital has outdated drugs they want to drop off. May we accept those as well? No. Doctors, pharmacies and hospitals purchase drugs direct from wholesalers and MUST keep records of all drugs they receive and dispense or administer. These entities have a system available to them that allows them to return drugs to the supplier or dispose of them by using a DEA registered company to do that for them. If they have any questions, tell them to contact their local DEA office for clarification. 

Q: Should we count the drugs or keep a log? No. These drop-offs are intended to be anonymous. Do NOT count or inventory the drugs. In fact, we advise you not to touch them at all. Have the consumer toss the container into the box and they walk away. It is that simple. We are not opening the boxes at all. We don’t want to risk an accidental needle stick or expose ourselves to whatever contagions may be present and neither should you.