Agencies collaborate for Drug Take Back Day


After a month of the county celebrating a drug-free message with the Red Ribbon Campaign, the Jackson County Drug-Free Council plans to provide residents with a way of properly disposing unwanted medications.

On Saturday, the council in coordination with the Jackson County Health Department, Jackson County United Way and Seymour Police Department have organized Drug Take Back Day at several sites throughout the county.

The event aims to prevent substance abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. It is part of a national effort by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Disposal sites will be in Brownstown, Crothersville, Freetown, Medora and Seymour. The service is free and anonymous.

This is the third Drug Take Back Day in Jackson County since October 2017 when the drug-free council, the health department and Seymour Police Department collected and disposed of eight trash bags of prescription drugs.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, said Lin Montgomery, public health coordinator for the health department.

"Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse," she said. “Family members may have been prescribed an opioid pain medication and no longer be taking it from a surgery or injury. If it is not a drug you currently need, drop it off. Please peel off or mark through the identification."

Tonja Couch, executive director of Jackson County United Way, said based on what the agency has heard this year, it has been more intentional about educating the senior population to empty their medicine cabinets of unused, unwanted and expired drugs.

"It is so important that this population understands the risk of keeping these medications in their home," Couch said. "We’ve also partnered with the senior centers and other community organizations to create an event around the drug take back to encourage more neighbors to come out, drop off unwanted drugs and learn more about resources available."

All people need to clean out their cabinets to ensure these drugs do not get used by the wrong person, said AmyMarie Travis, president of the drug-free council’s board.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

“This is important that residents know how to lock up their medications, and if unwanted, how to dispose of it,” Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott said.

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.

“It is important for the public to dispose of unused drugs properly,” said Brenda Turner, director of the drug-free council. “All unwanted drugs can be turned over all year long at the following locations: Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Seymour Police Department and Crothersville Police Department.”

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Prescription drug disposals will be accepted at these locations Saturday during Drug Take Back Day.

9 to 11 a.m.: Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department, 200 Moore St., Crothersville

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Jackson County Health Department, 801 W. Second St., Seymour

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Brownstown Senior Citizens Center, 124 S. Main St., Brownstown

2 to 4 p.m.: Medora Senior Citizens Center, 52 W. Main St., Medora (free dog event in partnership with the center)

4:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Freetown Community Center, 6789 N. Union St., Freetown (freewill offering for a spaghetti dinner provided by the Freetown Improvement Association to keep the town’s lights turned on)

The Seymour Police Department, 205 N. Ewing St., will accept liquids, needles, sharps, pills and patches.

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The Jackson County Drug-Free Council meets at 4 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the Community Foundation of Jackson County, 107 Community Drive, Seymour.

For information or to get involved, contact Brenda Turner at [email protected] or visit or


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