DEA program takes old, unwanted prescription meds off streets

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY

BURNET — Authorities on April 28 will target prescription drugs flooding the street market through a national take-back program with drop-off locations in Burnet and Marble Falls.

“A significant part of our drug problem in Burnet County has to do with dangerous drugs or prescription medications that have gotten into the hands of someone other than for whom they are prescribed,” said Burnet County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Tom Dillard.

The most prevalent prescription drugs obtained through illegal means are anti-depressants and pain medications such as hydrocodone, Xanax, oxycontin, and Fentanyl.

“I’ve seen a few cases where teenagers or young adults were selling medications, which were antibiotics, and then claiming they’re something else,” Dillard said. “Some of those are legitimate but dangerous. That’s why these medications require a prescription, so doctors can keep you from having a negative interaction.”

To combat the issue, BCSO and the Marble Falls Police Department are combining forces with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which is Saturday.

People can anonymously dispose of outdated and unused prescription drugs at the two drop-off locations with no questions asked nor requests for identification.

“Unused prescription drugs are a concern for the public and for law enforcement because of possible accidental ingestion by children and the potential for theft and illegal consumption,” according to a DEA statement.

Other concerns are the unsafe disposal of the drugs or criminal attempts to obtain them.

“Folks accumulate expired or unused medication sometimes from deceased loved ones … not good things to put in our water supply,” Dillard said. “Sometimes, having them around is an invitation for someone to break in and steal them.”

Disposal containers will be available from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the lobbies of the Marble Falls Police Department, 606 Avenue N, and the sheriff’s office, 1601 E. Polk St. (Texas 29 East) in Burnet, on Saturday, April 28.

For more information, call the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office at (512) 756-8080 or the Marble Falls Police Department at (830) 693-3611.

connie@thepicayune.com

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