Those with unwanted, unused drugs have a safe way to dispose of them this weekend.
Multiple locations in Hall County are taking part in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
Drugs can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at the following locations:
• Gainesville police and Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County: Gainesville Police Department, 701 Queen City Parkway, Gainesville
• Hall County Sheriff’s Office: Georgia State Patrol post, 2000 Cleveland Highway, Gainesville
• Oakwood Police Department: Oakwood City Hall, 4035 Walnut Circle, Oakwood
• Braselton Police Department: Police/Court building community room next to the Braselton Town Hall, 5040 Ga. 53, Braselton
The service is free and participants can remain anonymous.
“Prescription drug abuse is an issue in our community that affects individuals and families from all walks of life,” said Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office. “And we welcome the opportunity to take another positive step toward eliminating the problem and making Hall County a safer, better place to live.”
Illegal drugs or intravenous solutions and hypodermic needles will not be accepted.
The Drug Free Coalition of Hall County found in an October 2010 survey that half, 45 of 84 participants, knew someone affected by prescription drug abuse.
Nationwide, 1 in 5 teens have abused prescription drugs, according to a news release from the coalition.
And next to marijuana, prescription medications are the most commonly abused substances.
Some 56 percent of those who abuse prescription medications say they got those drugs from friends and relatives, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2008.
“This will be the fourth time the Oakwood Police Department has participated in the National Take-Back Day,” Oakwood Police Chief Randall Moon said.
“We recognize the importance of giving the public the chance to remove the prescription drugs off the streets and out of the hands of dealers and addicts, while also preserving our water system by not having them flushed down the drain, eventually ending up in our water, lakes and streams.”
The Drug Enforcement Agency’s third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 29 collected more than 188.5 tons of unwanted or expired medications. In Hall County, a total of 44 pounds were collected by local law enforcement agencies.