By JB Clark
TUPELO – More than 50 pounds of prescription drugs were dropped off at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office on Friday by early afternoon.
The drop-offs were a part of a national drug take-back initiative.
This is the second year and fourth drop-off the sheriff’s office has participated in, and Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said the program has grown so much they are in the process of having a 24/7 drug drop-off kiosk approved and installed at the office.
“With our narcotics problem, the biggest problem is prescription drugs and the reason for that is availability,” Johnson said. “We have kids who ramble through medical cabinets at home and at grandparents’ house and either use them or give them to their friends.”
He recommended everyone do an inventory of their medications a few times each year and at the end take any expired or unused drugs to their office.
“Any time of the year you can drop off your drugs at the sheriff’s department for proper disposal, but this is one day we try to promote it,” he said. “This is a way to keep the environment safe and not let the drugs into the wrong hands. We’re in partners with the Attorney General’s office, who approves us as a drop-off location, and then the DEA comes in to disposed of the drugs.”
The last drop-off saw more than 100 pounds of drugs dropped off at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
“When you start weighing a pill, that’s a lot,” Johnson said. “I know personally when my dad passed away of cancer in 2006 we basically had a pharmacy of highly addictive drugs and nothing to do with them.”
He said he wants community members to know they can dispose of them through his office any time if they missed Friday’s drop-off.
The Tupelo Police Department will also be collecting prescription drugs at CVS Pharmacy on Main Street on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Outside Lee County, and also from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, prescriptions can be dropped off with Booneville Police Department representatives at the CVS in Booneville, at the Fulton Walmart with the Fulton Police Department, at the Union County Sheriff’s Office and at the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department.