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Mid-Southerners participate in DEA’s Drug Take Back Day

Published: Oct. 23, 2021 at 3:50 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s a growing problem in the Mid-South and throughout the country.

As part of National Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, Mid-Southerners did their part fighting prescription drug misuse.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says nearly 17 million Americans misused prescription drugs in the past year.

Joseph C. Murphy, the acting U.S. Attorney for Western Tennessee, says for many people battling addiction prescription opioids are the drug of choice and they go to great lengths to get it.

“These drugs can be highly addictive,” said Murphy. “A lot of these people that are addicted to opioids, they steal them out of medicine cabinets. Maybe it’s somebody that comes in the home that works or a family member.”

That’s why the DEA launched National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

It’s held twice a year, once in April and once in October, and gives people with unwanted or expired prescription medication an opportunity to visit collection sites to dispose of it safely.

Action News 5 visited the collection site at Kroger on Highway 70 in Bartlett on Saturday.

A team of nurses and law enforcement officers collected bags of prescription medication people dropped off.

“Too many times people flush them and they get in the groundwater. We don’t want that. People keep them at the house. They have the potential for abuse. Kids, teens, people that want to experiment. So bring them to us, we will dispose of them properly,” said Capt. Todd Halford with the Bartlett Police Department.

For those battling an addiction, or who are worried about someone who is, representatives from a Betor Way were on hand to offer support and resources.

Jennifer Dancy, a certified peer recovery specialist with A Betor Way, knows what it’s like to battle addiction and overcome it.

“When I was in my addiction, nobody understood, even the people close to me, they didn’t understand,” said Dancy. “You have all these people coming at you and no one is sort of holding your hand and saying ‘Hey you’re not a bad person. You just made a bad decision.’ That is the biggest thing in my opinion.”

For more information on services provided by A Betor Way, visit its website.

For more information on how and where to dispose of prescription drugs, visit the Food and Drug Administration.

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