Local law enforcement to participate in Drug Take Back Day

Posted on Oct 23 2018 - 5:50am by Bri Sellers

Collection sites at the Oxford Police Department and the University Police Department will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m this Saturday as a part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Oxford Police Department. Photo by Taylar Teel

The Drug Enforcement Agency hosts Take Back Day to “provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.”

“We want everyone to take advantage of this,” said Rod Waller, director of the Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit. “Once your medicines aren’t being used anymore, it’s important to get rid of them.”

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs that year. The study shows that a majority of people who abused prescription medications got them from family or friends, often from their home medicine cabinets.

“What we’re really trying to promote is that this is more than just one Take Back Day. There is a box outside the police department that is available 24/7 for drop-offs of prescriptions,” said Lacy Dodd, CommuniCare Health Center Mississippi Prevention Alliance for Communities and Colleges coordinator.

The National Institution on Drug Abuse published a study that found that 180 people died of reported opioid-related drug overdoses in Mississippi in 2016. Per every 100 Mississippians, 107.50 prescriptions for opioids were given — enough for every single person in the state to have a supply of over 60 opioid dosages.

“As far as the opioid crisis, it’s everywhere, but I feel like Oxford isn’t quite as bad compared to the rest of the state,” Waller said. “We still have an issue here though.”

According the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, opioids account for the greatest percentage of prescription drug-related deaths and addictions. Between 2011 and 2015 in Oxford-Lafayette County, 22 people per 10,000 reported being hospitalized for substance abuse according to the Mississippi State Department of Health.  

Last year’s October Take Back Day safely disposed of 456 tons of prescriptions across the country at 5,321 collection sites.

“We’re working on making a drop box available on campus for students to drop off unused prescriptions at any time,” Dodd said. “We want to get the word out that you can drop off medications at the drop box at the police station at any time, not just on Take Back Day.”