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KCKCC drug takeback dayKansas City Kansas Community College Prevention Coordinator Andrica Wilcoxen, left, was joined by, from left, addiction counseling instructor Tom Hall; addiction counseling student Cathy Francisco; Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Brian Tucker and student Trey May in highlighting the success of this spring’s Prescription Drug Take Back Drive for the KCKCC Board of Trustees Tuesday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
KCKCC drug takeback day
The semi-annual Prescription Drug Take Back Drive was even better than expected as 1,130 pounds of unused or expired prescription drugs were collected in Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties.
“It was a huge success: I had set a goal of 500 pounds for Wyandotte County,” said Andrica Wilcoxen, outreach and prevention coordinator for the Community Outreach Counseling program at KCKCC.
A widespread effort to give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs, 663 pounds were collected in Wyandotte County, a 93 percent increase over the 343 pounds collected in the county in the last Drug Take Back held last September. Adding more drop off locations, Leavenworth County collected 467 pounds, a 336 percent increase over the 107 pounds collected last September.
A vital public safety and public health issue, the initiative addresses the elimination of medicines languishing in home cabinets that are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.
Participants in the Take Back included the KCK Police and Wyandotte County Sheriff’s departments, KCKCC, the Regional Prevention Center of Wyandotte and Leavenworth County, Livable Neighborhoods, DeGoler Pharmacy, Hen House, Walgreens, Bonds Pharmacy, CVS Pharmacy and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
“Dr. Thomas Hall and addiction counseling students at KCKCC played a huge role in the promotion of the Prescription Drug Take (Back) by canvassing Wyandotte County with fliers to inform our community residents about the Take Back,” Wilcoxen said. “In addition, 20 KCKCC addiction counseling students volunteered at various drop off locations and handed out prescription drug awareness materials to community members who came into the store so the success was truly a team effort.”
Hall said rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
“Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet,” Hall said. “In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.”
Free and anonymous – no questions asked – the Prescription Drug Take Back is held every six months with the next Wyandotte-Leavenworth drive to be held the last Saturday of September or October. Further information on the program is available through the KCKCC Community Outreach and Counseling program at 913-288-7429.
Four days after the first Take-Back event in September 2010, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the attorney general to accept them. The act also allows the attorney general to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. DEA has begun drafting regulations to implement the act, a process that can take as long as 24 months.