On Saturday, Jasper police will participate in the National Take Back Initiative. The program, started by the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2010, collected 371 tons of drugs at 5,800 sites nationwide when it was held in April. The drugs are incinerated, according to the DEA.
From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., anyone who has prescription medications they no longer need can drop them off at the Jasper Police Department on Alabama Avenue in downtown Jasper. There’s no cost to participate.
“This is a day that gives the public an opportunity to bring in old prescription medications that are outdated or are no longer being used,” said Heath Allred, a member of the Jasper Police Department who’s been assigned to work with the DEA. “It’s a program that’s growing. It’s surprising how much it has grown.”
Allred said those who bring old prescription medications are not required to register or even give their name.
To turn in the medications, you simply have to come by and drop them in a box that will be outside the police department. Jasper police will be on hand to answer any questions anyone may have.
“We’ll take any prescription medications that anyone has, no questions asked,” Allred said. “You don’t have to sign anything or show your ID. It doesn’t matter if it’s your medicine or a family member’s.”
While the program is designed to help people dispose of unneeded medicine, it also serves an even better purpose.
“It takes prescription narcotics that might possibly be diverted to the streets, and it takes it out of the community,” Allred said. “A lot of people don’t really know what to do with medication they no longer need.”
It also keeps the medications from falling into the hands of the wrong people.
“When you have medications just laying around, there’s always the potential for someone to make a mistake and take it,” Allred said. “It’s also a safety issue for anyone who has small children in the house. You don’t want to ever leave something like that laying around. A lot of people don’t feel comfortable just throwing it away because it could still get in the wrong hands.”
Once the event is over, Jasper police will seal the medications in a box and properly dispose of it.