WMPN, Pathways Coalition to Host Another Drug Take Back Day

October 25, 2019

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, the event has been rescheduled. It will now take place in conjunction with the Community Baby Shower on November 2.

Saturday, October 26th will mark the DEA’s 16th National Take Back Day since the start of the program in 2010. Locally, the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network (WMPN) and the Pathways Coalition RX Committee will be holding their own prescription drug take back day. The event will take place Friday, October 25th from 12:00PM – 4:30PM at the Duncan Regional Hospital Advanced Medical Supply Parking Lot.

This will be the second take back event held by the local partners, the first of which happened last April. “At our last event we collected around 50 pounds of prescription medication. We heard from people who had bags of medications but had no idea how to get rid of it and they were so happy to finally have a place to go,” said Bethany Sullivan, the Regional Prevention Coordinator Grant Director at WMPN. Having medication around that is either expired or no longer needed can put some at risk. Sullivan added, “People can bring their medications and drop them off with no questions asked, we can even go to their car window if that’s what they need. We like to have these take back days so that people aren’t having to throw their medication in the trash and worry about other’s going through it, they don’t have to flush it down the toilet and potentially damage the water supply, and they don’t have to just keep it lying around where guests or youth can get ahold of it.” In the 2016 Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment, 30% of those Stephens County youth who said they had used prescription drugs to get high, said they got their supply from somewhere in their home such as a medicine cabinet. Take Back Day events provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing unused or expired prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Nationally, the DEA has collected 11,816,393 pounds of medication since their first event in the fall of 2010. This includes the 468 tons (936,000 pounds) collected from last April’s National Take Back Day. More local numbers show that since 2016, 845 pounds of medication have been collected from Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics sponsored drop boxes, with an additional 75 pounds being collected from the MedSafe box located in Duncan Regional Hospital.

If you don’t currently have any medications to drop off there are still ways you can do your part to help prevent prescription drug abuse and keep yourself and others safe.

• Ensure Proper Storage – review medication labels to ensure they are stored in the proper environment

• Make sure medicines are in a secure location, out of reach for children

• Frequently check expiration dates – using medicines past their expiration dates means chemical might not work, making them potentially unsafe and ineffective

• Never share your medication – doctors prescribe medication based on specific symptoms and medical history. Something that works for you may not work for your friend.

• Never flush unwanted medications down the toilet – they could end up polluting water and land.

• Pay close attention to proper handling and disposal instructions listed on the medicine’s package, if you have any questions, as your pharmacist.

Below are the locations in Stephens County that will take unused or expired medications year round:

• R & S Drug #3 – 3117 US Hwy 81, Duncan, OK

• Duncan Regional Hospital Emergency Room Waiting Area – 1407 N Whisenant Rd, Duncan, OK

• Thompson’s Pharmacy – 513 Hillery Rd Suite B, Comanche, OK

• Duncan Police Department – 18 S 17th St, Duncan, OK

• Marlow Police Department – 115 N 2nd St, Marlow, OK

• Stephens County Sheriff’s Office – 101 S 11th St, Duncan, OK

• Chickasaw Senior Center – 1909 W Plato, Duncan, OK