[UPDATE] Drug Agents Launch Pill Take-Back Event

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

[UPDATE] 4/3

Valdosta, Georgia - May 3, 2011

The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office says 51 pounds of prescription drugs were dropped off at three area drop-off sites Saturday.

They say all pills collected by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will be incinerated.

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Local college students say prescription drug abuse is climbing.

"Sometimes they have stuff in bowls," says Glenn Reed, a sophomore at Valdosta State University. "You can ask where this at, they'll tell you. Um, it's easy."

Sophomore Elizabeth Rugen agrees, "Some students will be able to give it to you and some students will be able to get your doctor to prescribe them."

But on Saturday, anyone with unused and unwanted prescription drugs can drop them off at sites across the country.

It's Lowndes County's first time hosting a Drug Take-Back Program.

"It is quite the item," says Sgt. Jim Griffin, with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. "It is on the rise and that is the abuse of prescription drugs."

Griffin says it's an opportunity for citizens to anonymously drop off any potentially dangerous pills.

"Not only are we helping people to rid their medicine cabinets and those unused drugs from the house, but we're also helping them to protect our environment," says Griffin, about preventing medications from getting flushed down toilets and disposed of in other improper ways.

Last year, the DEA collected 121 tons of prescription drugs in America. And Saturday you can drop of yours at both Walmart and Lowes in Valdosta from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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There will also be pickup sites at Crum's Mini mall in Panacea, the Wal-Mart in Crawfordville and the Kangaroo store in Wakulla Station.

In an effort to help fight prescription drug abuse, the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office will participate in the second National Drug Take-Back Day Saturday, April 30, according to Sheriff David Harvey.

"We want to work hand-in-hand with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to do something about prescription drug abuse," said the sheriff. "On Saturday, April 30, we can all do something about it."

The sheriff and DEA are urging the public to clean out medicine cabinets of leftover prescription drugs and deliver them to the sheriff's office, 15 Oak Street in Crawfordville, for collection and disposal.

Additional collection sites around Wakulla County are anticipated.

Look for the red, white and blue DEA posters.

There will be a deputy and collection box in the WCSO lobby on April 30 so residents can dispose of their unwanted drugs properly.
Sheriff Harvey said removing unwanted drugs from the community serves two purposes: it reduces the danger of the drugs getting back onto the streets while reducing future crimes and allows the drugs to be disposed of properly while reducing the threat to the groundwater the environment.

The collection will take place at the WCSO lobby from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Federal officials estimate that more than seven million people are abusing prescription drugs and the numbers continue to increase each year.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offers a few guidelines for disposing of prescription and over-the-counter medicines:

· Do not give drugs to anyone else.
· Do not flush drugs down the toilet.
· Do not put drugs in the trash without disguising them. Human or animal scavengers may find them and misuse them.
· Flushing medications down the toilet can cause contamination to

Florida's aquatic environment because waste water treatment systems are not designed to remove many of these medications.

For more information, call 800-882-9539 or visit www.dea.gov.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 30, 2011 at 08:48 PM
    Well, there wasn't no deputy and i didn't see any drop box in the WCSO on Oak street. I had to drive over to walmart to dispose of the pills!!!! Thanks a lot.
  • by Stumpknocker on Apr 30, 2011 at 08:26 AM
    Maybe the babies momma's can give back the birth control pills they do not use.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 30, 2011 at 06:50 AM
    Another cool trick would be to set up random vehicle safety checks on the street just before you get to the drop-off location. Then they would have a chance to find pills that you probably do not have a valid prescription for, and then arrest you.
    • reply
      by CaptainDisbelief on Apr 30, 2011 at 12:16 PM in reply to
      Christ almighty, don't give them any more bad ideas.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 30, 2011 at 05:06 AM
    Oh. Give it a rest. the majority of us like our sheriff.
    • reply
      by Gene on Apr 30, 2011 at 07:39 AM in reply to
      You would be incorrect in your assertion. No law abiding citizen approves of driving after drinking at a lounge that he illegally owned. No one approves of hit and run in a county vehicle and subsequent cover-up. The good honest citizens of our county are unable to afford a 6 million dollar loan on a salary such as his. Even his wife probably is still curious as to what he was doing beside the road at 2am with another woman. We do not need unused prescriptions to be place in the authority of a Sheriff of low morals and poor character. I fought in 2 wars for the right to free speech and I will exercise my rights as I encourage you to do.
      • reply
        by Jill on Apr 30, 2011 at 03:34 PM in reply to Gene
        I agree with Gene C. Very few people like the sheriff for his misdeeds to the citizens of this county and to his wife. Anonymous is probably a deputy.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 1, 2011 at 05:18 AM in reply to Gene
        Well....la ti da!!!!!!!!!
  • by Mr. Redneck Location: Wakulla on Apr 30, 2011 at 04:21 AM
    This is joke....right? No seriously, this is a joke! Local college students? DEA helping us clean out our medicine cabinets? Environment? There is a drug store on every street corner in the USA. This is a joke? No seriously, this is a joke!!
  • by Mike K Location: MLK Parkway on Apr 29, 2011 at 06:49 PM
    Interesting...Is Harvey getting into the prescription drug business since he defaulted on the 6 million Dollar loan from the former Wakulla Bank. It is hard to understand how much harm one individual can do to a single community.
    • reply
      by Local on Apr 30, 2011 at 08:26 AM in reply to Mike K
      Harvey's wife used to own a pharmacy in Crawfordville. She sold out for some reason or another.
      • reply
        by Riverside on Apr 30, 2011 at 02:13 PM in reply to Local
        I imagine her largest customer was the jail. I guess she is now seeking a divorce lawyer.
  • by Drugs R US Location: Spring Creek on Apr 29, 2011 at 03:52 PM
    Now, here is a story! The Sheriff of Wakulla County wants everyone to drop off their drugs at one of several locations. Hmmm. Is there a shortage at the jail? BE careful when driving to one of the drop off sites we have a Sheriff who is known to hit and run.
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