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Saturday events aim to reduce the misuse of prescription medications


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IDAHO FALLS — Several local law enforcement agencies are hosting events aimed at allowing residents to get rid of their unused prescription medication.

It’s all part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The nationwide initiative happening Saturday, works to reduce the misuse of prescription drugs and overdose deaths. In Idaho Falls, the Bonneville Youth Development Coalition, Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, the Center for HOPE, and Idaho Department of Correction planned a Donuts for Drugs Take-Back event.

“Especially right now, when people are home more, we want to get prescription medications out of homes so they can not be misused,” BYDC Program Director Mallory Johnson said. “That’s why we care so much about doing prescription take-backs.”

In a nationwide study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 9.9 million people misused prescription pain relievers in 2018. The problem is not only impacting adults but also teens and young adults across the Gem State.

Just under 2% of students between the 6th and 12th grades said that most or all of their friends misuse prescription drugs. Around 60% of those said the drugs are used in their own homes, according to the 2019 Idaho Healthy Youth Survey. Johnson explained this is why getting unused prescriptions out of homes is critical.

“We want to make sure that we are setting up locations and educating community members on where prescriptions can be taken to drop boxes all year round,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, protecting our youth and community.”

At Saturday’s event, people can stop by the Center for HOPE at 530 East Anderson Street in Idaho Falls from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is a drive-through with deputies taking the prescriptions for disposal. In return, donuts and educational materials are given to visitors.

The event in Idaho Falls is not the only event in eastern Idaho.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is doing their own drug takeback in front of the Driver’s License Office at 510 North 2nd East in Rexburg from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In Pocatello, the Police Department is holding its drive-thru event in front of the police station at 911 North 7th Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For other locations that participate in the safe disposal of prescription medications visit the DEA’s website here or contact local law enforcement.