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Shawnee Co.’s Drug Take Back Day projected to beat last October’s numbers



TOPEKA, Kan. – Soldier Township and Mission Township fire stations set up bins for people to drop off their unused, unwanted, and expired prescription medication for National Drug Take-Back Day.

Shawnee Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Marcus Scheid said the day always gets a good turnout and this year is looking like it could be better than in years past.

“The more time that people are spending at home and now we’re getting into the springtime part of that spring cleaning, people start going through the medicine cabinets and start going through the household things and see that, you know, I’ve got an overabundance of drugs that need to get rid of,” he said.

On the last drug take-back day in October, The Shawnee Co. Sheriff’s Office collected more than 300 pounds of medications. Scheid thinks they beat that number this time with an hour to spare.

“Typically we get a rush in the beginning, it has been pretty steady today. In the past, we are usually around 300 pounds for both locations I would estimate today based on the initial number of people that have dropped off drugs so far today.”

Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets — clearing out unused medicine is essential.

Scheid agreed as he waited for cars to pull up outside the soldier township station.

“Number one can be disposed of properly so they’re not put down the septic system or thrown in the trash but more importantly they get out of the hands of kids that may get into those at home.”

But, it’s not always easy to take them away, with many dropping off medications of loved ones that passed away.

“There’s definitely some emotion sometimes with some of those individuals that are dropping off drugs from loved ones that have passed away.”

He feels the community recognizing the opportunity to get rid of the excess drugs could be a good thing, which is why they continue to partner with the DEA after 10 years. The DEA coordinates National Drug Take-Back Day and they will dispose of the medications following the Sheriff’s weighing the total amount.

“That’s why we continue to do that over the years because we’ve had such a good turn out and we’ve had such a good response from the community that was you know hopefully as long as the DEA continues to do that will continue to help offer that service.”

This is a biannual event so there will be another Drug Take-Back Day in October.

For those who can not make it to the stations — they can drop off their excess prescription medications in a drop box at the sheriff’s office — located at 320 South Kansas Avenue.