Governor Kristi Noem is encouraging South Dakotans to dispose of unneeded prescription drugs on Saturday, April 27, as law enforcement agencies across the state participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Program.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., law enforcement, in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration, will give people opportunities to prevent prescription medication abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
“Preventing drug abuse is a vital public safety and public health issue. Each of us has a part to play in fighting drug addiction,” said Noem. “I want to thank the law enforcement community for stepping up and providing this important service in our communities.”
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that most misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet.
“Experts agree that properly disposing of prescription medications is essential to winning the fight against the opioid epidemic,” Noem continued. “Unneeded drugs that stay in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in our nation are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses because of these drugs.”
According to the South Dakota Department of Health, there were 74 drug overdose deaths in the state in 2017, making South Dakota the third lowest in the nation for drug overdose deaths.
In addition to national takeback day, local pharmacies, law enforcement agencies, and the South Dakota Board of Pharmacy have established year-round drug take back locations statewide.
For more information about South Dakota’s plan to reduce opioid abuse and misuse, visit AvoidOpioidSD.com. A list of participating law enforcement agencies in the national takeback event is available at takebackday.dea.gov. A list of year-round drug take back locations in South Dakota is available at avoidopioidsd.com/take-action/take-back-sites/.