UNION — If you have drugs, legal or illegal, that you want to get rid of, you can turn them in to the Union Public Safety Department for disposal with no questions asked.
Public Safety Director Sam White announced Thursday that his department will take part in the DEA National Take Back Initiative Saturday.
“From 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., we will be taking part in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take Back Initiative,” White said. “The DEA holds the initiative twice a year and we will be partnering with them on Saturday. The initiative gives people who have drugs they want to get rid of the opportunity turn them in to be disposed of safely, no questions asked.”
While the DEA holds its drug take back initiative twice a year, White said his department accepts drugs for disposal year-round.
“Our participation in the initiative is just for that particular day, but we will take drugs people want to turn in anytime,” White said. “We find that people throughout the year have drugs they want to dispose of. They have family members that die who leave behind unused medicine or they have medicine that expires. People need a safe way to dispose of their unused and unwanted medication throughout the year and we provide them with that. This way they don’t have to hold on to these for the next drug take back day or dispose of them in an unsafe manner.”
White urged the public not to dispose of unused or unwanted medication by flushing them down the toilet or tossing them out with the garbage.
“If they go into the sewer they can pose an environmental hazard,” White said. “If they go out in the garbage, someone could get a hold of them or be exposed to them in some way.
“Drugs turned in to us, either on the days of the DEA take back initiative or any other day of the year, will be disposed safely through incineration,” he said. “This prevents them from becoming a hazard to our water supply and eliminates the chance that someone might get a hold of them.”
In addition to prescription medication, White said people have also turned in out-of-date vitamins. He said these too are collected by his department for incineration.
White reiterated that no questions will be asked of those who bring drugs in for disposal, and that includes illegal drugs.
“This is not limited to prescription medication, we will also accept marijuana, crack, meth or any other illegal drugs, no questions asked,” White said. “We have never had anyone turn in substances like these, but they can without being asked where they got them. All they have to do is tell whoever is at the desk that they are there to turn those drugs in for disposal and the officer will take the drugs from them and they can then leave without being asked any questions. They don’t have to give their name, because we want ask them who they are or where they got the drugs, we’ll just take them and dispose of them.”
For more information about Saturday’s drug take back initiative and/or about turning in drugs for disposal the rest of the year, contact the Union Public Safety Department at 429-1713.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.