Pelham looking to collect 100 pounds during drug take-back day

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Pelham Police Department is looking to take more unused and expired medications out of local homes April 30 after the city’s 2010 take-back day proved more successful than expected.

The department will hold medication take-back day April 30 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the south parking lot of the Pelham Police Department on Philip Davis Drive. During the take-back day the department will allow residents to drive through a tent and dispose of medications and over-the-counter medications without getting out of their vehicles.

All medication surrendered will be done on an anonymous basis, and police officers will not count, log or inventory the medication. The department will make permanent markers available for those who wish to remover personal information from their pill bottles.

“We have it set up to where people can come right off the highway, into the parking lot and through the tent,” said Pelham police Capt. Larry Palmer. “People can pull up, drop it off and then drive off. We are not looking at what you dispose of. Everything is anonymous.”

Because the department does not inventory the number of pills collected, they are only able to categorize the medications surrendered by weight. Last year, the department collected 67 pounds of medications. This year, police are looking to collect between 75-100 pounds.

After the department collects the medications, they will seal the boxes and surrender the substances to the Drug Enforcement Administration, who will destroy everything collected.

Removing unused, unsecured or expired medications from homes can help cut down on a major source of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse, Palmer said.

“That’s a drug source a lot of people don’t think about,” Palmer said. “If someone is in your house and they take five, six or seven pills from a bottle, nobody will ever know they’re gone.

“It’s a real source for those who are involved in the illegal use of medication,” Palmer added.

During the take-back day, the department will collect all controlled, non-controlled or over-the-counter medications. Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should be surrendered in their original container.

The Department will not collect any syringes, intravenous solutions or illicit substances, such as marijuana or methamphetamine. For more information about the take-back day, call Palmer at 620-6550.