The Summit County Sheriff’s Office announced this week it collected approximately 46 pounds of expired and unused prescription drugs from the community during the 9Health Fair Saturday, April 5 at Summit High School.
The 46-pound total more than doubles the average collection since 2010 when the sheriff’s office began participating in the program, said public information officer Tracy LeClair. In past years, the sheriff’s office netted an average of 20 pounds of prescription drugs per event.
“This is a significant increase this year,” LeClair said. “I think we can attribute it to the fact that the program has been around for a few years now and public awareness about the benefits of the program are definitely growing.”
The drug take-back program began to serve two basic purposes, LeClair said. It reduces the risk of prescription drugs entering the water, potentially harming aquatic life or getting into the local water supply.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the event reduces the risk of prescription drugs being consumed inappropriately, either by accident or through illegal distribution, LeClair said.
“I think we can confidently call this prescription take-back day a resounding success,” said Summit County Sheriff John Minor. “We’re very appreciative of the partnership with our community, as demonstrated by their participation in this program.
“Turning in your unused drugs helps keep them out the hands of our youth, landfill and water supply.”
The expired and unused prescriptions were booked into evidence following the event and marked for proper disposal.