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The Los Alamos Police Department is having a “Drug Takeback Day” on April 27. Any resident who has prescription drugs they are no longer using are invited to drop them off at pre designated drop off points, no questions asked.
According to LAPD Commander Randy Foster, the LAPD has been in the program for two years, and it’s a popular one in Los Alamos.
“The number of drugs we take in at each event can be measured in pounds,” said Cmr Foster.
The event will feature two locations. One will be at the Los Alamos Medical Center, located at 3917 West Road on the east side of the parking lot. The other location will be in White Rock in the White Rock Public Library’s parking lot, located at 133 Longview Drive.
“The DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) allowed us to do a second site so senior citizens living in White Rock wouldn’t have to travel up the hill,” said LAPD Sgt. Oliver Morris, who is in charge of the program.
When dropping the drugs off with police, they box them up and send them off to the Drug Enforcement Agency, the agency that created and organized the Drug Takeback Day initiative several years ago. The DEA then takes the drugs and incinerates them. The idea is to keep the drugs, which Morris says are mostly controlled substances like cancer medication and powerful painkillers, out of the hands of drug dealers and small children.
According to the most recent statistics from the non-profit group safekids.org, more than 67,000 kids were sent to the hospital emergency room in 2011 because of prescription drug poisoning. Another statistic said about 20 percent of children obtained the drugs from either a nightstand or a purse. About 6 percent get them from a cabinet or a drawer.
The police department has the event twice a year, once in April and another time in October. Any and all prescription drugs are acceptable.
“We see everything you can think of, from cough syrup with codeine to oxycontin,” Sgt. Morris said. “But we don’t go through it and look at it. We just check to see if that’s what it looks like that’s coming in. We don’t record information. It’s very anonymous,” Sgt. Morris said.
The Drug Takeback Day in Los Alamos seems to get more popular year by year. “It’s a very popular program in the Los Alamos area,” Morris said. “One comment we get every year from the Drug Enforcement Agency is that Los Alamos is very proactive. The DEA is very impressed with the numbers we turn in.”
The event will take place in the parking lots of the LAMC and the White Rock Public Library, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27.