Bryan Prevention and Recovery, an initiative through United Way of the Coastal Empire (UWCE), is working with local law enforcement, senior living facilities and apartments to encourage Bryan County residents to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, April 24. Collection sites will be at Magnolia Manor in Richmond Hill and the Sheriff’s Office in Pembroke.
At its last National Drug Take Back Day in October 2020, the DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs. Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, the DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs. With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
“We have been conducting Drug Take Back Day events since 2019 with Richmond Hill and Pembroke Police Departments. This year, we are excited to have other organizations, like the Sheriff’s Office and senior living residences, help us in our efforts to prevent drug abuse and overdose deaths,” said UWCE Area Director Mary Fuller. “This is an important and easy way to remove prescription drugs from the community when they’ve outlived their use and become a risk. We, as Bryan County residents, can take action to protect our community and do our part to end the nation’s opioid epidemic.”
Bryan Prevention and Recovery is a collaborative of community partners that supports drug-abuse prevention and recovery support strategies throughout Bryan County.
Collection sites for DEA National Drug Take Back Day in Bryan County will be at Magnolia Manor, 141 Timber Trail in Richmond Hill, and the Sheriff’s Office, 95 Sgt. Robert W. Crapse Drive in Pembroke. Magnolia Manor will be set up as a “drive-thru” collection site. The sheriff’s office will be collecting in their lobby. People are free to drop off medication without providing explanations to officers. Each site will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), inhalers, syringes and other sharps will not be accepted. For all those we are unable to make the event, prescription drug drop boxes are also available year-round in the Richmond Hill Walgreens Pharmacy along with the lobbies of the Richmond Hill Police Department and the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office in Pembroke.
For more information about Bryan Prevention and Recovery, please visit www.bryanprevention.com, and follow the organization on Facebook.