State Police to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back initiative

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Louisiana State Police (in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration) will participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27, 2013, in an effort to help local residents rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs. Expired, unused, and unwanted medications may be brought for disposal from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 27 to the Louisiana State Police troop location nearest you. This service is free and anonymous and is a great opportunity for those who have accumulated unwanted or unused prescription drugs to dispose of them safely.

The 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates there are 6.1 million current non-medical users of psychotherapeutic drugs in the United States. The NSDUH survey further indicates there are more Americans abusing psychotherapeutics than the number of cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogen abusers combined. Expired, unused, or unwanted controlled substances in our homes are a potential source of supply that fuel this abuse and are an unacceptable risk to public health and safety.

This program addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion and misuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses. Studies show the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. Louisianians are also advised the usual methods for disposing of unused medicines, such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, can potentially pose safety and health hazards.

Controlled (those substances which require a doctor's prescription), non-controlled, and over-the-counter substances will be collected. Participants may dispose of medications in the original container, or by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into the disposal box. If an original container is submitted, the individual should remove any identifying information from the prescription label.

All solid dosage pharmaceutical products and liquids in consumer containers may be accepted. Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain sealed in their original container. The depositor should ensure the cap is tightly sealed to prevent leakage.

Items that will NOT be accepted include intra-venous solutions, injectables, and syringes (due to potential hazards posed by blood-borne pathogens). Illicit substances such as marijuana and methamphetamines are NOT part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection containers.

This program is completely anonymous and every effort will be made to protect the anonymity of participants. No questions or requests for identification will be made. All participants must retain possession of their own medication during the surrender process. Law enforcement personnel will not handle the medications at any time.

Directions to the troop location nearest you may be obtained by visiting our website,, or by dialing *LSP (*577) from your cellular telephone.