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The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Friday, and it addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows the majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. 

Bring pills for disposal to one of four locations:

  • Bernice Pharmacy, 417 E. Main St., Bernice
  • Union Parish Sheriff’s Office at 710 Holder Road, Farmerville
  • CommuniHealth Services, 335 Main St., Marion or
  • Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, 117 Hall St., Monroe.

Sites will accept pills, patches, liquids or vape pens, but they cannot accept needles, sharps or aerosols.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

To keep everyone safe, collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. 

Someone drops unused prescription pills into a box during a DEA Drug Take Back day. The proper disposal is encouraged so that opioids and other potentially harmful medications don’t get misused. (Photo: Provided)

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

This program began when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines-flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash-posed potential safety and health hazards.

Medications thrown in the trash can be retrieved and sold or misused and drugs that are flushed can contaminate the water supply. Proper drug disposal not only can save lives but protect the environment.

Through incredible partnerships with the DEA, U-ACT — a program of the Children’s Coalition  — the University of Louisiana Monroe College of Pharmacy, CommuniHealth Services, Bernice Pharmacy and the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office, this national initiative for the safe disposal of prescription drugs is now a reality in northeast Louisiana. 

Sgt. Michael Reichardt with Louisiana State Police says, “It is imperative that people with old medication, especially narcotics, dispose of them properly before they get into the hands of someone that doesn’t need them or improperly disposes of them. This is a free service that is offered in our community and one that is needed. I hope people take the time to come out and dispose of their prescriptions properly instead of flushing them.” 

Bernice Pharmacy Manager Brandon Keaster said, “We love working together with partners in our community to protect our families and make the community safer for all.” 

Community members who are unable to attend Drug Take Back Day can use permanent drop boxes. Visit takebackday.dea.gov to find the nearest available drop box.

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