With prescription drug abuse on the rise across the country, disposing of unneeded or expired medication has become something that police departments are investing resources to promote.
And Lathrop Police Services will be doing the same for the next two weeks as they put out the word for a drug take back initiative being held on Saturday, April 29, in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to Lathrop Police Chief James Hood, the effort to collect unneeded medication isn’t a new one inside of the city limits, but the turnout each of the times that the department is has sponsored and advertised a collection site the number of people taking advantage of the services has grown significantly.
The first time, Hood said, only a couple of pounds worth of pills – regardless of what they were – were taken in over the course of several hours. Last year when the event was held dozens of pounds of medications were collected, turned over to the DEA and ultimately destroyed and disposed of safely.
With illicit opiate use rampant in many communities across the country, police departments urge people with prescriptions that could be abused to keep close tabs on them and make sure that if any of those pills are left over they’re disposed of properly by bringing them to authorized collection sites. Communities advise against flushing them down the toilet because ultimately the chemicals end up in local waterways and could adversely affect fish and wildlife that may come into contact with trace amounts.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 29 at the Lathrop Senior Center – located at 15707 5th Street – residents with extra medication are encouraged to bring down their bottles with the label removed so that they can be collected and ultimately disposed of.
And it’s not just Lathrop Police Services that are stepping up to do something about the opiate epidemic.
On Wednesday, the Lathrop Manteca Fire Department got word that they were the first agency to be selected for a program that allows EMTs to administer the lifesaving drug naloxone to people who have overdosed on drugs like heroin, fentanyl, morphine or other painkillers. Those same EMTs can also administer epinephrine to people who are having an allergic reaction.
The announcement from LMFD came after a pilot program with the French Camp McKinley Fire District proved to be successful.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.