Sheriff's Corner: Combating prescription drug abuse | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Sheriff's Corner: Combating prescription drug abuse

Posted: April 24, 2012 - 4:24pm

I was recently asked what the Sheriff’s Office is doing to combat prescription drug abuse and the crimes that are associated with it.

The problem with prescription drug abuse has become a nationwide epidemic and has had a wide range of effects on individuals and communities. Throughout the county, law enforcement keeps busy responding to thefts, burglaries and other crimes tied to prescription drug use and abuse. Often times, the prescription drugs are falling into younger hands. By preventing the drugs from getting into the wrong hands, it also prevents them from getting into the community. By following a few simple instructions, you can ensure that your prescribed medications are safe and being used by those they are prescribed to.

Safe use

• Read and follow directions on all medications.

• Take the recommended dose- not more, not less.

• Don’t share your prescription medicine with another or take someone else’s medication.

Safe storage

• Keep all medication in a safe location that is unavailable to children, teens and guests.

• Lock up narcotics or mood altering medicines.

• Keep medicines in their original containers.

• Follow storage directions on the medicine.

Safe disposal (It is no longer safe to dispose by flushing down sinks and/or drains)

The Cass County Sheriffs Office has implemented a program called Take It To The Box. The Cass County community is serious about preventing medication misuse/abuse and accidental poisoning, and about healthy, environmentally safe disposal of unneeded medications. Safe medication disposal helps reduce such risks. On November 1, 2011, a 24/7 medication disposal box was installed in the lobby of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office. The “drop off” box accepts unneeded over-the-counter medications, prescriptions and narcotic drugs from community members.

Take It To The Box is FREE disposal and is located at the Cass County Sheriff’s Office in Lobby at 303 Minnesota Ave West in Walker. This box is available for drop offs 24 hours a week 7 days a week.

When dropping off your old prescriptions:

• Leave medication in the original container and name of medication on the bottle.

• Remove your name and other identifying information.

• Drop medication into the disposal box opening.

NO syringes, needles, or sharps accepted. NO chemotherapy or radiological medicine. NO mercury thermometers or bio-hazardous waste.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office is also excited to announce a Take It To The Box Drop Off Location at the Lakeshore City Hall/Police Department located at 8583 Interlachen Road and is available during normal business hours.

Cass Lake and Pine River City Halls/Law Enforcement Facilities will soon have drop box locations available also. Watch for details!

The DEA is sponsoring a National Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 10 AM to 2 PM. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting 3 drop-off locations:

Cass Lake City Hall – 330 2nd St, Cass Lake

Remer City Hall - 106 Spruce St NW, Remer

Sylvan Town Hall – 12956 24th Ave SW, Pillager

Sheriff’s Office staff will be on hand to accept your unused or expired medication for safe disposal. If you have any questions regarding National Take Back Day, you can contact our office and talk with Pauline at 218-547-7308.

By informing the public about safe medication and prescription use, storage and disposal we can help prevent prescription abuse and related crimes that occur from it.

If you have specific questions that you would like answered in this column or in person, please feel free to contact me anytime using one of the following methods:

Email: tom.burch@co.cass.mn.us Phone: (218)547-1424

By Mail/In Person Cass County Sheriff’s Office 303 Minnesota Ave W PO Box #1119 Walker MN 56484