FORSYTH, MO – On Saturday, September 25, 2010, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the DEA (United States Drug Enforcement Agency), local law enforcement agencies, and the Taney County ADAPT (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team) will set up sites in Branson, Hollister, and Forsyth where the public can bring unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal, no questions asked and at no cost to them. This is an opportunity to safely empty out your medicine cabinet of drugs you don’t need any more, or which have expired – including prescription drugs that contain controlled substances.

The Take-Back sites on September 25th will be as follows:
• In Branson, at the parking lot of Country Mart on Highway 248;
• In Hollister, at the Grape Festival; and
• In Forsyth, at the parking lot of Country Mart on Highway 160.
“This is a much safer way to dispose of your prescription drugs than flushing them,” said Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeff Merrell, a member of Taney County ADAPT. “When people flush their prescription drugs, they can end up in the community’s water supply. That, of course, is very dangerous to all of us.”

In addition to being safer than flushing, this disposal of prescription drugs works to keep the drugs out of the hands of children and drug abusers. Pharmaceutical drugs, particularly controlled substances, taken without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision can be just as dangerous as taking illicit drugs.

According to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most prevalent category of drug abuse in the United States. That same survey also found that more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined.

Merrell notes that Taney County ADAPT (formerly known as the Taney County Underage Drinking Prevention Coalition) became interested in partnering with the DEA on this project due to the national epidemic of teens abusing prescription pills – in addition to alcohol. The 2009 Monitoring the Future Survey data show that one in ten 12th graders used the pharmaceutical narcotic Vicodin for non-medical purposes. In addition, the 2008 Partnership Attitude Tracking Survey showed that the majority of teenagers using prescription drugs got them from family and friends, including from their home medicine cabinets. “That is one reason this event is so important to our community,” said Merrell.