By Doreen Barr
I have been a volunteer member of Drug Free Fayette since 2017. I became involved shortly after the 2015 fentanyl death of my son Ryan. My heart and passion led me to Drug Free Fayette and Fayette Safe Rx.
This past year I became Outreach Coordinator planning events in our community to promote education and break the stigma of addiction. I have been honored to speak with hundreds of families at our events. Sadly, I have also been amazed when I ask parents and grandparents if they lock up their medications. I usually get a blank stare and a response of “NO.” I then ask them, “What do they do with any expired or leftover medications?” They usually tell me the medications are either still sitting in the cabinet or they washed them down the drain.
53% of people who misuse prescription drugs obtain them from their home or a friend’s home. In 2017 Drug Free Fayette conducted a survey and found that only 15% of Fayette households practiced secure disposal of medications. In 2020 that number rose to 22%. Our goal for this year is to increase that number to at least 40%.
First, we should keep our medications safe and away from children or others who may take it to experiment or abuse. This can be done by storing the medication in a lockbox. Secondly, we must practice safe disposal of unused or unwanted medications.
The DEA Take Back Day is held twice a year and is a safe and easy way to dispose of your medications. Another alternative is disposing of your medications at the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office drop box, law enforcement drop boxes in Peachtree City, Fayetteville, and Tyrone, and in some pharmacies (CVS) that are open and available year-round.
DEA Take-Back Day Is October 28
Saturday, October 28th, between 10 AM and 2 PM, there will be four locations to drop off your medications. Those locations are:
- The Peachtree City Police Department
- The Tyrone Police Department
- The Fayetteville Police Department
- The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office
When you drive to one of these above locations, simply drive up, hand in your medications to the law enforcement officer present, and your job is done. Keep in mind: no sharps, liquids, or aerosols can be accepted. In return, Drug Free Fayette will be giving away free lockboxes, Deterra drug deactivation packets (for safe disposal and deactivation at home), and a special surprise.
This is a call to action. You can make a difference, and your loved ones are depending on you. Do your part to curb this epidemic, you may be saving a life.
Drug Free Fayette and Fayette Safe Rx
For more information visit Drug Free Fayette and Fayette Safe RX, email DrugFreeFayette@FayetteFACTOR.org, or visit www.dea.gov/takebackday.
Fayette Safe Rx Alliance is comprised of several local, regional, and statewide organizations: Fayetteville Police Department, Drug Free Fayette, Drug Free Fayette and Fayette FACTOR, In Ryan’s Name, Inc., Piedmont Fayette Hospital, Georgia Department of Public Health, District 4, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Peachtree City Police Department, Georgia Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Initiative, Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, with special thanks to US Congressman David Scott for his support.