Local and federal law enforcement agencies are teaming up later this month to take back prescription medicines that are no longer being used.
The Take Back event, which will be Oct. 25 at Hy-Vee, is a collaboration between the Webster County Sheriff's Department, Fort Dodge Police Department and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Take Back events are held nationwide twice a year, and the one coming up will be the second held this year. Their purpose is for people to anonymously turn in "potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs," according to the DEA.
Sheriff Jim Stubbs said since Take Back events began being held, the Webster County community has become more aware of them.
"Anytime something's out in front of the public, they take more of an interest in it," he said.
Having Take Back events in Webster County gives many advantages to both the people and law enforcement.
Prescription Drug Take Back Event
Oct. 25, 4 to 6 p.m.
Hy-Vee, 115 S. 29th St.
"The benefit to having these is in the amount of prescription drugs turned in," he said. "There's a problem with prescription drug abuse, both by people they're prescribed to and those who aren't. This is one way of getting those drugs out of peoples' houses and potentially where they shouldn't be."
According to the DEA, "studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet."
Stubbs said by offering this program, unused prescriptions can be safely turned in to law enforcement, where they will be destroyed. He also stressed that law enforcement does not keep track of who turns in medicine.
"There are no names disclosed," he said. "We have no record of who turns anything in. We don't need the label on the bottles, and all of them are destroyed anyway."
Over the past three years, Stubbs said law enforcement has received positive feedback about the program.
"It's been worthwhile here in Webster County," he said. "We will continue to hold these events as long as people are willing to turn in their prescription drugs."
According to national DEA statistics, more than 742,000 pounds. of prescription drugs were turned in at the last Take Back event in April. Since the DEA began the Take Back events in 2010, more than 2.8 million pounds have been turned in.