Local organizations take part in national effort

Joe Toppe Staff Writer

October 25, 2013

PICKENS COUNTY – Providing a safe way to rid your home of potentially dangerous and unwanted prescription drugs is a national concern.

National Pill Take-Back Day will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pickens County Sheriff’s office, the Easley police Department, the Clemson police Department, Cannon Memorial Hospital, and Baptist Easley Hospital.

“Medicines left in cabinets of area homes are subject to misuse and abuse and even theft,” said Allison Greene, public relations director at Baptist Easley. “The day’s service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. The drugs will be disposed of safely without harm to the environment.”

Drop off sites will be located at Cannon Memorial hospital, Baptist Easley Hospital, and the Clemson Free Clinic.

“Everything we do is geared toward protecting American families and communities,” said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart. “We know that young people consider controlled-substance prescription drugs, like Vicodin, to be a safer way to get high, but they couldn’t be more wrong. By removing unwanted prescription drugs from their homes, the public helps prevent experimentation, addiction, overdose and even death.”

Officials at Cannon Memorial Hospital echoed the sentiments of Baptist Easley and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“Cannon feels a responsibility to not only the general community but also the patients,” said Steven Evans, director of community relations at Cannon Memorial hospital. “We want to help make sure the environment is safe and make sure the pills don’t fall in the hands of the wrong people.”

Local law enforcement is happy to be involved in the national effort as well.

“We want to take part in this day for several reasons,” said Capt. Parsons of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. “There are safety issues with pills lying around, kids can get into them and that is an accident waiting to happen. A lot of the pills are out of date and no good.”

Parsons said there is also a threat of criminal abuse with prescription pills being left around.

“There is also the issue where people can come in to someone’s home and steal the prescription drugs,” he said. “Those people could possibly overdose or try and sell them on the street.”

According to Parsons, disposing of the drugs properly is important to public safety.

“We want to make sure the people that shouldn’t be getting a hold of these drugs don’t,” Parsons said. “We don’t want people to take these drugs and overdose or sell them on the street.”