State police participating in Drug Take Back initiative

The Drug Enforcement Administration is sponsoring the 21st nationwide Prescription Drug Take Back initiative Saturday.

The initiative seeks to prevent prescription drug abuse and theft through proper disposal of prescription drugs.

Collection sites will be set up nationwide for expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, which will be properly disposed of without threat to the environment.

The Indiana State Police Versailles Post, 902 S. Adams St., Versailles, is among the drop-off sites. The event is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

This program is for liquid and pill medications. Vaping pens without batteries and vaping cartridges also will be taken. Needles, new or used, will not be accepted for disposal. This service is free and anonymous with no questions asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.

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 a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

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 — pose both potential safety and health hazards.