Lorain County collected 1,585.6 pounds of drugs in correlation with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Drug Take-Back Day.
Lorain County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dennis Cavanaugh called the day a success, with the city of Elyria collecting the most — 283 pounds of medications, while the city of Amherst collected 158 pounds on Saturday.
National Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a “safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Diversion Control.
Lorain County residents could turn in their unused prescription medications at 15 different locations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Drugs were also collected from the police department’s 24-hour drug drop-off boxes.
Cavanaugh said local police departments work in correlation with the Drug Enforcement Administration, but the area’s Drug Take-Back Day originated in Lorain County. He said Lorain County and the Westshore Enforcement Bureau began collecting prescription medications nine years ago.
Each Drug Take-Back Day, which was held twice a year, was successful, he added.
“As many drugs as we can get off the streets, the better,” he said.
In Elyria, officers sat at the Elyria Police Department to collect prescription drugs, liquid medication and syringes. The items were placed into boxes, which will be incinerated as a way to destroy the drugs.
Lorain County sheriff’s Capt. Jim Drozdowski, who monitored the collection at the Elyria Police Department, said residents young and old came in to the station to turn in prescriptions. One woman brought a trash bag full of pills, he said.
“We have people whose family members have passed away, and they don’t know what to do with them,” he said.
Cavanaugh said the importance of disposing of drugs correctly is so they don’t get into the wrong hands. In addition to drug-related crime, he said children can get into prescriptions that are left in the house.
He said there are also environmental concerns with flushing medication down the toilet.
Cavanaugh said those who missed the Drug Take-Back Day can still dispose of their medication. Drop boxes are available at many of the local police departments.