Tooele City Police hauled in 45 pounds of prescription drugs during their annual prescription take back event on Oct 24.
The event, held by the Tooele City Police in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration, was held on Oct 24. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Walmart.
Two police Explorers and the community resource officer for Tooele City helped organize and host the event.
After their take back event the community resource officer brings the collected prescriptions to the police station where they are booked into evidence, according to Jeremy Hansen, public information officer for the Tooele City Police Department.
“At the beginning of the week, the Drug Enforcement Administration came to the police department and the prescriptions were turned over to them, along with the prescriptions that were collected from our various drop boxes. The DEA incinerates the prescriptions,” said Hansen.
The police department sees many different types of prescriptions turned into their drop boxes but they can’t accept liquid drugs or syringes, according to Hansen.
“The liquids will leak and syringes put our officers and evidence technician at risk of being stuck by the syringe,” Hansen said.
Tooele City Police have three prescription drop boxes throughout Tooele City — the lobby of the police station, in the county Health Department building, and one at Valley Behavioral Health.
Individuals should always get rid of unused prescriptions, according to Hansen.
“When people keep or hang onto old prescriptions, they tend to accumulate,” said Hansen. “People generally do not know what to do with remaining prescription and sometimes flush them down the toilet, which can cause serious issues with our water and sewer systems. We want to be able to collect these unused prescriptions and safely dispose of them correctly,”
The most dangerous types of prescription medications people keep in their homes are prescription pain relievers such as Percocet, Oxycodone, or morphine.
“These types of prescriptions can very quickly lead to an overdose if found by someone, like a child,” said Hansen. “We recommend keeping these types of narcotics up and out of the reach of any children or anyone else, who it not specifically prescribed to. Keeping them in a secure lock box or safe would be the best idea. Also, the nature of narcotic pain relievers on their own, can lead anyone to abuse and addiction.”
If someone in a home takes a prescription that is not prescribed for them, it is a crime, said Hansen.
Police said that even “harmless” prescription pills should be turned in when the individual is no longer taking them.
“If the individual is no longer taking them, there is no reason to hold onto them,” Hansen stated.