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Constable Atanacio "J.R." Gaitan received approval to participate with Uniting Neighbors in Drug Abuse Defense (UNIDAD) in reducing prescription drug abuse by having his office serve as a safe disposal site for expired, unused or unwanted prescription medication. The UNIDAD coalition is a program of the Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas.
"The community will now have a permanent, safe drug disposal alternative; no questions asked," Gaitan said. "The goal is to reduce the availability of prescribed medication for recreational use, which has resulted in addiction, intoxication and overdoses."
In Hidalgo County there have been approximately 848 reports of dangerous exposure to prescription medication made to the Texas Poison Center Network from 2009 to 2014.
Precinct 4 Constable and UNIDAD applied and were approved to receive a grant from CVS Pharmacy to obtain a permanent prescription medication drop box. Gaitan said the program will provide an opportunity to educate the community about the dangers posed by prescription drugs that are abused or improperly discarded.
"More importantly, this prescription medication drop box will allow for a reduction of access to addictive medications for accidental or intentional misuse by children or others," Gaitan said.