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Posted on: October 26, 2018

NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY SET FOR SATURDAY, OCT. 27

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Behavioral health experts, law enforcement officials, and county prosecutors all joined together to bring awareness to the dangers that prescription drugs pose and to encourage residents to dispose of old prescription medication at free disposal sites at Commissioners Court.

"We're here to bring awareness and prevention to the abuse of prescription drugs," said Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr, during a reading of a proclamation declaring October 27 as National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. "We want the community to be informed of the potential harm unwanted prescription medications can do when left undisposed."

Eight years ago, the Drug Enforcement Agency launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration declared this a public safety and health hazard issue. Local DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Rudy Maldonado said 72,000 people died of drug overdoses last year.

“There is no outrage,” Maldonado said, adding that 200 Americans die daily of drug overdose. “The majority of the people who overdose on these drugs get them from their own families.”

Helping people to dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way local law enforcement agencies are working to reduce opioid addiction and overdose deaths.

Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas UNIDAD Coalition Program Coordinator Melissa Alviar encouraged residents to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

"As a part of UNIDAD Coalition, we focus on raising awareness on the risk and consequences of misuse and abuse of prescription drugs," said Alviar.

Residents can drop off their unwanted pills on Saturday, October 27 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the following collection sites:

Mission Fire Station #3, the Edinburg, La Joya, Weslaco, Alamo, Donna, Palmview, Alton, Raymondville, Edinburg, and McAllen ISD Police Departments, Hidalgo County Constable Precinct #4, Office Depot in McAllen, Peter Piper Pizza in Pharr, Junior's Grocery Store in San Juan, Lacks in Rio Grande City, Valle Vista Mall in Harlingen, and Sunrise Mall in Brownsville.

The service is free and anonymous.

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