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'Take Back' day helps eliminate drug misuse

The Clayton County Police Department and the Clayton County Sheriff's Office collected expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for the National Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign, on Saturday, Sept. 25.

They partnered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and several other organizations, at two locations in Clayton County, according to officials.

The police department held its pill drop-off event at Lowe's Home Improvement, in Stockbridge, and the Sheriff's Office conducted its event at the Harold R. Banke Justice Center, in Jonesboro.

"Many people came and turned in expired prescription drugs and unused over-the-counter medications," said Capt. Tina Daniel, the police department's public information officer. "This resulted in approximately 36 [pounds] of controlled substances that were collected from medicine cabinets in our county," she added.

She explained that it is important not to flush unused medications down the toilet, or simply throw them away in the trash, due to potential safety hazards. One of the major hazards is contamination of the local water supply.

Officials added that the misuse of prescription drugs, found in the home, is becoming a serious problem.

"We want to thank everyone for assisting us in eliminating a major source of abused prescription drugs, and helping to keep our environment safe," said Daniel.

The Clayton County Sheriff's Office's pill drop-off site collected approximately 13.5 pounds of medications, according to Deputy Alicia Parkes, the sheriff's public information officer.

Clayton Sheriff Kem Kimbrough added: "This was an outstanding turnout, and we are glad to have been able to work with the DEA, Clayton County Water Authority, and Clayton County Public Schools to get the word out."

He said that, "We look forward to having more events like this in the future, and encourage community awareness, education and involvement."