FORT WAYNE – The Fort Wayne Post of the Indiana State Police collected 700 pounds of prescription drugs in just four hours during Saturday’s fifth nationwide Prescription Drug Take Back program, more than any other post in the state.
The twice-a-year events are sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration in an effort to prevent prescription drug abuse and theft.
Police staffing the posts collected expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, which are then incinerated and destroyed, said Sgt. Ron Galaviz, spokesman for the Fort Wayne ISP post.
Statewide, the ISP collected more than a ton – 2,320 pounds – of unused or expired medications, Galaviz said.
Galaviz urged those needing to dispose of unwanted or unused narcotics not to wait for the next Take Back event in April, but to take advantage of three drop-off sites in Allen County.
Drop-off bins are available at the Allen County Sheriff’s Department and Fort Wayne Police Department, both housed in Rousseau Centre, 1 Main St.; the ISP Post at 5811 Ellison Road; and the New Haven Police Department.
People should not throw unwanted medications in the trash or flush them down the toilet or a drain and contaminate the water, Galaviz said. The objective is to keep these drugs out of the hands of the people who should not have them.
Many people across the board, regardless of age, have a naivety about the dangers of prescription drugs, Galaviz said.
They think that the narcotics must be safe since a physician prescribed them, and that’s not the case, he said. Under certain conditions, a person risks being arrested for operating under the influence of a controlled substance if they take too much of their prescribed medicine.