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Drug Take-Back Day takes place Saturday

By Robert Goetz | Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs | Sept. 27, 2012

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — The Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Exchange satellite pharmacy will be the site Saturday of another Drug Enforcement Agency National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Scheduled from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the BX pharmacy lobby, the event provides a convenient, central location for the safe return and disposal of left-over medicines.

"During the last drug take-back day in April, we collected 329 pounds of medications, which was triple the amount we collected last October," Capt. Timothy Weigle, 359th Medical Support Squadron satellite pharmacy officer in charge, said. "That was a record for Randolph and it placed us second in the Air Force behind JBSA-Lackland. This time we want to be the No. 1 collection site in the Air Force."

Nationally, the DEA drug take-back day in April - the fourth such event - was also a record as participants turned in 552,161 pounds, or 276 tons, of unwanted or expired medications at 5,659 take-back sites throughout the country.

Weigle said the event helps stop medications from falling into the wrong hands and being flushed and contaminating water supplies. Teenagers who abuse prescription drugs often get them from the home medicine cabinet, while unused medications thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold.

According to the DEA, unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse.

"People who come to the event will be assured the medicines will be disposed of in the best way possible," Weigle said.

He said 902nd Security Forces Squadron members will be available during the event and medications will be securely transported to an approved facility for incineration, which is the industry standard for safe disposal of unwanted medicines.

Weigle said participants should remove labels with identifying information from the medications. At the collection site, contents will be removed from their plastic bottles; participants will be asked to dispose of their containers.

"However, for liquids and some other unique cases, the containers will be accepted," he said. "Also, we cannot accept sharps or needles."

Weigle encouraged the Randolph community to take part in drug take-back day.

"People stockpile medications because they don't know what to do with them," he said. "This event offers the safest way to dispose of old drugs."

Weigle said people who do not participate in the program may still dispose of old drugs by taking the medications out of their bottles, mixing them with something like coffee grounds or kitty litter and water, sealing them in a zip-close bag or similar container and throwing them away.

For more information, contact Weigle at 652-6742.