Hundreds of pounds of medication are collected countywide on the spring and fall drug take-back days. This spring’s event is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Fairfield Twp. Police Sgt. Brandon McCroskey said it’s “imperative” people participated in the take-back days and not dispose of those expired and unused drugs themselves.
“In light of the current opioid epidemic and overdose deaths, it’s imperative for people who have prescription drugs they don’t use to turn them in. It decreases the risks of family members who potentially have drug problems becoming victimized,” he said. “You don’t need these medications, and it’s not safe to just throw them away in the trash or flush them down the toilet.”
The disposal day is a free event and is anonymous for all who dispose of the unneeded medication. Nationwide, there are more than 4,000 local drop-off locations. Butler County departments participating in the DEA Drug Take Back Day includes Fairfield, Fairfield Twp., Hamilton, Middletown, Oxford, Oxford Twp., Ross Twp., and West Chester Twp.
“Overdose deaths continue to hit tragic record highs. I encourage everyone to dispose of unneeded prescription medications now,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.
Drug overdose deaths are up 16 percent in the last year, claiming more than 290 lives every day, according to the DEA. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend.
Butler County residents are more likely to die from unintentional drug overdose than a motor vehicle accident, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office. Many of the deaths are linked to an overdose of prescription opioid painkillers.
The Butler County death rate for unintentional drug overdose deaths is 56 per 100,000 population, which is more than 10 per 100,000 population for the state of Ohio. The national rate of 14.6.
In 2020, Butler County had 177 total overdose deaths, and 172 in 2021, according to the coroner’s office. So far in 2022, the county had 63 known or suspected overdose deaths, though that number could increase depending on the results of pending toxicology reports.
“Working in close partnership with local law enforcement, Take Back Day has removed more than 15 million pounds of medication from circulation since its inception,” said DEA Cincinnati Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jason Schumacher.
Beyond the two DEA Drug Take Back days a year, there are year-round receptacles for drug disposals at pharmacies, hospitals, police departments, and businesses. There are several around Butler County, and nearly two dozen around 20 miles from the county. To find a location, visit deadiversion.usdoj.gov.
WHERE TO GO
The DEA Drug Take Back Day is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Here are the Butler County DEA Drug Take Back Day locations:
Fairfield Police Department, 5230 Pleasant Ave.
Fairfield Twp. Police Department, 6485 Vonnie Vale Court
Hamilton Police Department, 331 S. Front St.
Middletown Police Department, Middletown City Hall, 1 Donham Plaza (drive-thru service/circle driveway)
Oxford Police Department, 101 E. High St, Oxford 45056
Tri-Community Center, McGuffey Hall, 201 E. Spring St., Oxford (drive-thru drop-off)
Oxford Twp. Police Department, 925 S Main St.
Ross Twp. Police Department, 4055 Hamilton-Cleves Road
West Chester Twp. Walgreens, 7804 Cincinnati-Dayton Road