Prescription drug collection slated for April 28

LAKE COUNTY - The Lake County Sheriff’s department has announced that it will be holding a special collection of used or expired prescription medications this Saturday, Apr. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Office (1153 Michigan Avenue in Baldwin).

While the Sheriff’s department is glad to accept such drugs from the public at any time, this weekend’s drive has been organized to draw particular attention to the serious need to dispose of all these potentially toxic substances safely.

The national Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.) warns that abuse of pharmaceutical medicines can lead to accidental poisoning or overdose. Statistically, most such tragedies occur when the drugs are pilfered from the bathroom cabinets of family or friends. “You could be a drug dealer and not even know it,” the D.E.A. points out. “The non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America,” according to agency studies.

Another concern is that prescription medications which are simply thrown away or flushed down the toilet can contaminate the water supply.

In addition, pills that are simply left on the shelf may attract the attention of toddlers or pets who mistake them for candy – with tragic results.

Experts insist that “take-back” programs like the one coming up this weekend are by far the best way to dispose of old drugs, and Deputy Mike Neumann emphasizes that the public should take advantage of this opportunity to clean out their medicine cabinets. “This is a completely anonymous collection effort,” he says. “People are asked to remove or obliterate any name labels from the containers before they drop of the pills.