Chambers joins National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, March 22, 2023

April 22 is the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Chambers County is participating with a Prescription Drug Take Back and Resource Fair at the Valley Sportsplex.

The event is being organized by East Alabama Mental Health Center in conjunction with the Chambers County Drug Task Force and Alabama Department of Mental Health. Citizens can bring any pill-form medication or vitamin. 

“You can drop off your medication — No questions asked,” said Prevention Specialist Jessica Baldwin. “We won’t give you a hard time about it.”

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The Chambers County Drug Task Force will be cooking free hot dogs and hamburgers for guests who come out. Baldwin said local resource or selling vendors are also invited to set up a booth for free. 

“That way it gives the community members something fun to do for the weekend and also just promotes safety around your community,” Baldwin said.

The initiative’s aim is to decrease the risk of unneeded medicine getting on the streets or water system and discourage substance abuse. The event spreads awareness of the prevalence of drug overdose while providing resources to remove drugs from the household.

Many kids in the community find prescription medication in their or their peers’ homes and don’t understand the strength of what they’re taking. The event reduces the chances of prescription drugs ending up in the hands of juveniles or drug dealers.  

“A lot of our kids in the communities are getting them from home,” Baldwin said. “And if we put them in the trash cans, we’re just putting them back on the street. If you throw them away, you’re just putting them into your water solution. And so we try to do this event twice a year because it’s a safe way to dispose of your medication.” 

Chambers County participated in the Prescription Drug Take Back day last year in October. They collected over 100 pounds of pill-form medications. Baldwin said she has seen people bring whole trash bags full of medications after older parents or relatives passed away. 

“That’s a whole trash bag of drugs that were not put back into the community,” she said. 

In October 2022, the total law enforcement agencies that participated nationwide reached 4,340. They collected 647,163 pounds of prescription medicine.