DEA drug take-back encourages patients not to become a dealer

Jackson County

JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Prescription drugs do have an expiration date but that doesn’t mean you should flush them down the toilet.

That’s the primary reason why the DEA started a takeback event, no questions asked. Saturday, Jackson County residents took part in the annual event that, Ronnie Furniss, supervisor of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division said they’ve been aiding the DEA with for about five years.

The event’s primary focus is on prescription medication but residents can bring any type of drug, no questions asked.

“We would like for people to come up here and turn in their illegal drugs for certain but not typically do you see your illegal street drugs brought up here and turned in,” Furniss said. “However, If they would like to turn them in, we would be more than glad to take them.”

Furniss said, the more that are off the street, the better but, typically, they don’t see illegal drugs turned in.

“It’s typically excessive medication that they’ve had. Either some that’s had pain medicine that was prescribed to them for a surgery or whatever and they didn’t take it all,” Furniss said. “Or elderly people who have an abundance of medication that they no longer take.”

Furniss said they don’t log or even go through the medication, but they do weigh it.

“We take the packages and we get a weight, a total weight of the pharmaceuticals and turn them over to the DEA,” Furniss said. “The DEA actually weighs them on their scale and they sign them over and take them with them.”

When it comes to disposing of the medication, Furniss said they make sure to do so in an eco-friendly manner.

But why have an event to dispose of the medicine? Why not just flush them or throw them away? Furniss said they strongly urge individuals to not go that route.

“It could potentially get down into the water system and affect the water, nature, animals, things of that nature,” Furniss said.

Furniss said, if you missed the event today, there are other ways of disposing of your medicine. One can obtain a prescription destroyer.

“They are bottles that is filled with carbon and essentially you pour your prescription in there, whatever it may be,” Furniss said. “You shake it up and then you can throw it away in your household garbage.”

Furniss said, most of the time, you can get them from your local Health Department.

“And you can put illegal narcotics in that to be destroyed as well and anything you put in there is laboratory tested to be proven non-recoverable,” Furniss said.

As for needles and syringes, Furniss said they are a different story.

“Protect it in Sharps tubes and send it on,” Furniss said. “But if there is any medication in it, they can eject the medication and send it on.”

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