On Saturday, April 30th, 2016 the Jackson Police Department partnered with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and Smith’s Food and Drug on a nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative in hopes of preventing increased pill abuse and theft. The program was completely anonymous and citizens were asked to turn in expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs for destruction. In addition to the drug take back day, both the Jackson Police Department and the Teton County Sheriff’s Office have prescription drug drop boxes in their buildings where residents are encouraged to drop off unused or unwanted prescriptions for destruction. As a result of these programs 65.5 pounds of prescription medications have been collected for disposal in the past six months.
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many people do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing it down the toilet or throwing it away – both potential safety and health hazards.
Residents who were unable to participate in the take back program but who have unwanted prescription medications they would like to surrender for destruction can drop the medications off at the police department during business hours.