Drug take-back day Saturday at health fair

There will be no questions asked and no paperwork for those who want to dispose of excess or unwanted prescription medication this Saturday at the Lovell Health Fair.

The Lovell Police Dept. in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs at a booth open during the health fair at the Lovell Community Center from 9 a.m. to noon.

The service is free and anonymous.

The Lovell Police Dept. has offered a drug take-back program for some five or six years now, Chief Nick Lewis said. The great thing about the national take-back day on Saturday is that the DEA handles everything.

“We don’t have to do any documentation on who, how many or what kind of drugs,” Lewis said. “We just bundle it up, seal it, and DEA agents come around and take it. It’s so nice for the public. All they have to do is drop it off.

“On any other day we have to count the pills, verify the count and verify the color, shape and what the actual medication is. The count is critical, and the person coming in signs off on the count. But this is quick and painless.”

Lewis said prescription medication abuse is the LPD’s biggest concern when it comes to drug abuse.

“It runs the age gamut and is definitely the drug we see the most of,” Lewis said. “We see some cocaine and we see some meth, but by far prescription drugs are our number one problem.

“People can say a doctor wouldn’t prescribe something that would hurt them. That’s how they justify it. But they over-medicate themselves or inject it or snort it, and there are substantial consequences health wise.

The abuse also leads to criminal consequences like doctor shopping, stealing from friends and relatives and even burglary.

“Once you’re addicted, it continues day and night,” the chief said. “Addicts really don’t care about anything else. Everything else is secondary to them.”

The take-back day helps people with leftover tablets from being targeted and also helps those who have been taking certain medications from becoming dependent or addicted, Lewis said. Disposing of the medication also relieves relatives and others from the temptation that could come from seeing pills lying around, he said.

“They will go into certain areas of your house and they will seek it out,” he said. “What you don’t need you should get rid of.”

Look for an officer and a disposal box at the health fair, Lewis said.

By David Peck