Lowcountry law enforcement host National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Law enforcement agencies across the country hosted takeback events to help you dispose of unused, unneeded or expired prescription medication as part of National Prescription Take-Back Back Day,' on Saturday.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Tri-County area is experiencing nearly twice the national average of Opioid Drug Overdose deaths.

The Charleston Police Department was hoping to beat last year's total of 500 pounds of unused drugs collected.

Charleston Police Sergeant Trevor Shelore says improper disposal could also have serious health effects if it falls into the wrong hands.

"If the medicine is in your cabinet, it's in a situation where someone else can take it," Shelore said.

The sergeant also said, with the increase of opioid-related overdoses, law enforcement has had to resort to extreme measures including, making sure they have emergency nasal spray on them at all time.

"We're having to keep Narcan in our police cars," Shelore says. "It helps save a life when they're in the last few minutes of breathing."

All drugs collected at Saturday's event are taken to the Drug Enforcement Administration for proper disposal.

For those who weren't able to make it to one of the temporary sites Saturday morning, there are permanent collection boxes located at MUSC Public Safety HQ on Douty Street, CVS on St. Andrews Boulevard, and the Mount Pleasant Police Headquarters.

The sites accept pills, tablets, and patches but not liquids or syringes.

To safely dispose of liquid medication,  Charleston Police Sgt. Trevor Shelor says you should put pour the liquid into a Ziplock bag filled with old coffee grounds or cat litter, seal and place in the garbage.

Needles should be placed into a heavy-duty plastic laundry detergent bottle, then the bottle should be taped shut and marked "Biohazard" and put out with the garbage, he said.

Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved.