Prescription drugs can be found just about anywhere from your local pharmacy to the medicine cabinets of 250,000 Iowa homes.
“By in large, those are all being used carefully and helping people address pain issues,” said Steve Lukan, Director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy.
Lukan adds that too often when the pain goes away, the pills used to prevent it do not and they can end up in the hands of people who abuse them.
“They are becoming a drug of choice for younger populations.”
That’s why law enforcement agencies are fighting back.
Drug take back initiatives are being held at twelve locations throughout central Iowa on Saturday.
For four hours, people will have the opportunity to clear their medicine cabinets of unused, unwanted prescription drugs free of charge, with no questions asked.
“It’s really aimed at trying to get unused prescription drugs out of the hands of people who might divert them so we can safely dispose of them,” Lukan told Channel 13 News.
These efforts have been successful for Iowa law enforcement in the past.
Since 2004, 16,000 pounds of prescription drugs have been collected statewide.
According to Lukan, educating people about the dangers of the pills is just as important as collecting them.
When a young person like a parent or a coach has a meaningful conversation, there’s a 50% less chance they’ll use illegal drugs.”
Information on how to have those conversations will be available through pamphlets and law enforcement officers at each site.
The following locations will be hosting prescription drug take backs on Saturday, September 29th.
Ankeny Walgreens, 901 N. Ankeny Blvd.
Altoona Fire Department, 950 Venbury Dr
Carlisle Fire Department, 135 North 2nd St
Dallas Center Police Department, 1402 Walnut St
Des Moines Walgreens, 3030 University
Des Moines Walgreens, 3140 SE 14th
Indianola Fire Department, 110 North 1st St
Johnston Police Department, 6221 Merle Hay Road
Norwalk Fire Department, 1100 Chatham
Perry Police Department, 908 Willis Ave
Urbandale Police Department, 3740 86th St. (Note different time: 8am – Noon)
West Des Moines Police Dept, 250 Mills Civic Parkway