Southlake program gets drugs off the streets

Posted Monday, Jul. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
Want to drop off drugs? When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday Where: Southlake Department of Public Safety Headquarters, 600 State Street Instructions: Participants may dispose of pill-form medication in original containers. Liquid prescriptions, such as cough syrup, should remain in the original bottle. Please make sure the lid is tightly sealed to avoid spillage. No illicit drugs or substances such as marijuana or methamphetamines will be accepted. Intravenous solutions and syringes will not be accepted during this initiative due to potential blood-borne hazards. No inhalers, needles or sharp objects, such as Lancets, are allowed. Source: Southlake Police Department

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Southlake residents are bringing their drugs to the police station.

The city’s Prescription Medicine Secure Disposal Program provides a way for residents to safely get rid of prescription drugs in a secure disposal safe at the Southlake Department of Public Safety Headquarters.

Since its inception May 30, citizens have dropped off nearly 15 pounds of prescription drugs and medications, said James Brandon, assistant police chief.

Brandon said although the department has no specific goal for the amount received, the program has been successful in removing prescription drugs from homes where they can be abused, especially by teenagers. He said being proactive is the key to solving problems in the community.

“If we can help them from facing those problems then they turn into successful adults,” Brandon said. “One of those problems is the abuse of prescription drugs. We can circumvent or stop that problem.”

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 2,000 teenagers use prescription drugs without a prescription for the first time everyday.

The program, which is an expansion of the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s national drug Take Back day, was the idea of Southlake Police Chief Steve Mylett. Brandon said the department has no plans to end the program.

The US Food and Drug Administration directs people to dispose of expired drugs by throwing them in the trash or flushing them down the toilet.

Brandon said the department follows city procedure for destroying evidence with the drugs that are turned in. Submitting drugs is anonymous.

The drop-off box is located in the lobby of the Public Safety Headquarters and is available to all citizens.

“If someone puts hard controlled substances in there – crack cocaine, heroine – we will treat it in the same manner,” Brandon said. “We do not want people to dispose of controlled substances through the program, but if someone places a controlled substance in the drop box we do not intend to pursue it as a criminal matter.”

Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dustindangli

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