Take Back Drugs event a success

John Christensen
The Chronicle Express

Over 225 pounds collected in four hours; more than 1,000 pounds of unwanted prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and other drugs turned over to DEA

Yates County Court Security Officer Derek Christensen and Court Security Supervisor Sgt. Diana DeKay took in unwanted drugs from citizens like local attorney Carl Schwartz, disposing of medications left behind by former tenants of his rental apartments.

PENN YAN -- Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike reports his office’s successful participation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the National “Take-Back” event,  collecting expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction. Officers received medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24 at the rear of the Yates County Courthouse.

Officers Christensen and DeKay kept up with the steady traffic of 84 people at the drive-trough event which took in 226 lbs. of unwanted drugs with no questions asked.

From the community, 84 participants dropped off 226 pounds of prescription medications, filling 11 boxes during the four-hour period. These meds were taken this week to the Drug Enforcement Administration in Rochester. Sheriff’s Investigators also delivered 40 boxes with 844 pounds of meds collected at other YCSO daily locations with drop boxes at the Public Safety Building, the Starkey Town Hall, and the Rushville Village Office -- all collected in the last four months. The DEA will do immediate and appropriate destruction of the unwanted medications, preventing both the danger of misuse and environmental pollution.

“I thank our officers assigned to the detail," said Spike, "and also to the community for the great response to take-back meds as our goal to prevent increased pill abuse, misuse and theft, while addressing vital issues of public safety, public health, and looking out for the environment, was successful.”