Of the 508 pounds of pharmaceuticals collected on Saturday, April 21, Gordon County’s drugs weighed over 360 pounds, according to Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston, and the City of Calhoun’s disposals weighed over 148 pounds.
The Gordon County Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Drugs Don’t Work Committee (DDW), stationed themselves outside five dedicated locations chosen by the Calhoun City Police Department and Gordon County Sheriff’s Office for anyone to drop off unused and expired prescriptions to be disposed of properly.
Members DDW committee were stationed for Calhoun, at The Home Depot and Line Street/Hi Tech Fuel (across from the armory).
For Gordon County, DDW committee members were stationed at drop off locations in Sonoraville, in Plainville and in Resaca.
Each station contained signs and disposal boxes for anyone to get rid of unused, unwanted or expired pharmaceuticals, with no questions asked.
Additionally, several members of law enforcement from the Calhoun City Police Department and the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office were present at each location to ensure the safety of the DDW committee members as well as the pharmaceuticals.
“We were happy to participate in the prescription drug ‘take back’ program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce Saturday, April 21,” said Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston. “We collected over 360 pounds of unused prescription drugs, which will be destroyed.”
“The purpose of the event was to educate the public on the hazards of flushing medications (which end up in our water supply) and trashing medications (which is a hazard to our landfill and ultimately our water supply),” according to Shawn Mashburn, with the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce. “Law enforcement also wants to bring awareness about prescription drug abuse among teens and adults, yet another reason to rid medicine cabinets of unused medications.”
Commitee members were happy to report that there were no unexpected incidents.
Some drop-off locations saw more disposal traffic than others, according to Kenny Fuquea, the Vice-Chairman of the Executive Board of Chamber of Commerce, and Chair of the Drugs Don’t work Program.
Fuquea traveled from location to location and even delivered food to the committee members and law enforcement officers at several of the locations.
“Home Depot, fast food and fuel, and the Sheriff’s Department, seemed like our high traffic areas with people coming into town who heard there would be a drop off, and most people didn’t even have to get out of their car,” said Fuquea.
Debbie Vance, Director of Gordon County E 9-1-1 and DDW committee member, who was stationed at the Plainville drop off location, enjoys her involvement with the DDW committee and says she believes the committee’s efforts were very successful and hopes to see another take back event in the fall.
“Any amount you can get that could go into the hands of children or to go into our environment makes it (the take back event) a success,” said Vance.
According to Fuquea, the DDW committee will meet to determine if and when another take back event will be held
In the meantime anyone can drop off medications, no questions asked at different branches of law enforcement, according to Mashburn.
“The Calhoun Police Department and the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office are proud to announce their commitment to Calhoun and Gordon County by accepting unwanted or expired medications at any time throughout the year at the Calhoun Police Station or the Sheriff’s Office,” said Mashburn, “no questions asked and no ID required.”
Ralston backed up Mashburn’s statement.
“I’d like to remind the public that the Sheriff’s Office will always accept prescription drugs to be disposed of in the proper manner,” said Ralston. “I’d like to thank the Chamber again for their sponsorship of this program, and for their genuine concern for the people in our community.”