Countywide Drug Take Back Day set for April 29

Published 11:35 pm Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force is taking unused medication from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at four Shelby County locations as part of National Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 29.

According to SCDETF Commander Clay Hammac, residents can drop off their unused medication at the Greystone YMCA in Birmingham, the Target store in Alabaster, the Pelham Police Department and the Chelsea Winn-Dixie. No needles or liquids will be accepted.

“The point of this is to specifically provide an opportunity for folks to safely dispose of unwanted, unused or expired medications, whether they be prescription or over-the-counter,” Hammac said. “The public can clean out their medicine cabinets.”

Hammac said the SCDETF’s participation is aiding the Drug Enforcement Administration’s efforts to decrease prescription drug abuse across the nation.

“We have seen that the overabundance of prescription pills tends to lead to addictive behaviors in our youth and young adults,” Hammac said. “In some cases, that can evolve into more destructive behaviors, including opioid addictions.”

This is the first year the SCDETF has taken medication from a location in Chelsea.

“We’re trying to garner as much exposure as possible. We wanted to find locations that had a lot of public traffic,” Hammac said. “We’re trying to hit the four corners of the county, and Chelsea seems to be one of the central hubs that we can cater to.”

Hammac said this is considered a “no questions asked” event, meaning that anyone is welcome to drop off medication without having give a reason for having it or having to show any identification.

“People can come with freezer bags full of pills, and we will just take them,” Hammac said.

Hammac said the SCDETF has held a Drug Take Back Day every spring and fall for the past 12 years. The SCDETF collected 168 pounds of medication at the Drug Take Back event a year ago.

In addition, Hammac said that residents can drop off unused medication at any time during the year at nine different drug take back boxes, which are located at several police stations in the county.