Prescription Drug Take Back held at RBHS


Officer Julie Ray hands over the collected prescription drugs to be disposed of safely.

Will Cover

On April 28-29, Boone County sponsored a take back of prescription drugs coinciding with the DEA’s National Drug Take Back event, which resulted in 826.2 lbs of unwanted and/or no longer needed medications being turned in.
At RBHS, one of the seven collection sites spread throughout Boone County, 185.2 lbs of prescription drugs were collected. CPS Community Relations Director Michelle Baumstark said that the take back was put on by law enforcement, but the school district has participated by providing central locations for the past six or seven years.
Columbia Police Department Officer Julie Ray, who was stationed at the Rock Bridge take back said the event was an effective way at promoting safety surrounding prescription drugs.
“The take back keeps medication off the street,” Ray said. “It keeps children from getting them, and keeps it out of the water supply.”
Sophomore Anya Kumar didn’t participate in the take back, but supported the idea.
“I think it’s a good thing so people aren’t just using prescription drugs that they don’t need,” Kumar said. “There’s no reason to have unused drugs around, especially if they’re so addictive.”
The take back again succeeded in keeping medication of the street. According to a press release from the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, “The Prescription Drug Take Back…resulted in the 3rd largest collection…since this event began locally in 2010….All medications collected will be turned over to the DEA for proper disposal.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, website started the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to address a crucial public safety and health issue. 
“According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs,” the site said. “The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.”
The organization Safe Med LA found that 67.6 percent of people who misuse prescription opioids obtain them from a friend or relative, which often comes from extra, unused prescription drugs being available. As opioid deaths become a bigger and bigger problem, with drug overdoses killing over 64,000 Americans in 2016, the government is taking steps like the take back to limit the issue.
For Ray, who has done the take back for the past four years, the event is a positive way to support the community, especially surrounding such an important issue.
Ray said, “It’s an easy way to address and dispose of prescription drugs, and it helps to give back to the community.”
Do you support the Prescription Drug Take Back? Comment down below.