SALEM - Area residents are being invited to take part in the National Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Salem Medical Center across from Salem Community Hospital on East State Street.
Salem Police Chief J.T. Panezott said he'll have two officers handling the drugs as people come to drop them off. All prescription and non-prescription or over-the-counter drugs will be accepted, but due to possible hazards, he said they can't take liquids, intra-venous solutions, injectibles or syringes.
The Drug Enforcement Administration says they can't take those types of items, so they don't take them, he said.
For the last several years, the Salem Police Department has been participating in the nationwide drug take-back sessions twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, in cooperation with the DEA, Salem Community Hospital and the Columbiana County ADAPT Coalition.
In six previous nationwide collection events, participants cleared their homes, medicine cabinets and dressers of 2.8 million pounds of expired or unused medications.
The idea behind the drug take-back is to get the prescription drugs out of reach of children who could take them by accident or teens and adults who may choose to abuse them. The drug take-back also offers people a safe way to get rid of the unwanted pills and capsules rather than just throwing them away or flushing them into the sewer system.
Planners make it as easy as possible for people to drop off their items. They don't even have to get out of their vehicles.
In a press release, Panezott said no identification or personal information will be requested. Personal identifying information should be removed from bottles before bringing them for disposal.
"Please take advantage of this no-questions-asked opportunity to get rid of medicines you no longer need and which may otherwise be taken by children or disposed of in an unsafe manner," the press release said.
Visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov to learn more about the nationwide program.
Another free drug-related event is planned early next month for parents, educators and any adults who have contact with children to learn about drug abuse and how to recognize it and try to avoid it.
Operation Street Smart will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Kent State University City Center, taught by detectives from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.
Registration is required, with a deadline of Oct. 28 for people to call the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board at 330-424-0195 to register.
According to the flyer, the program covers current trends regarding the drugs young people are using, how young people get drugs and what adults can do to stop the supply, physiological effects such as how drugs affect the behavior of young people, how young people hide their drugs and what should raise suspicion by adults and how young people talk about drugs, such as the slang and terminology they use.