85.5 lbs of pills turned in

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 18, 2013

A prescription medication take back event held Thursday at Walmart in Andalusia resulted in the removal of 85.5 pounds of pills from the local area.

Abuse of prescription medication has become a big problem in Covington County, according to Children’s Policy Council Coalition Executive Director Susan Short. Short said Thursday’s event will go a long way toward curbing the problem.

“We had recovered about 20,000 pills in the first hour,” Short said. “We’re trying to keep these medications off the street and away from our youth especially.

Short said, over the last few years, officials have seen signs that prescription medication abuse is beginning as early as middle school for many teens.

“Everyone has these pills in their home and some people don’t even what they have, and don’t’ know what to do with them,” Short said. “A lot of people decide to just flush them down the toilet, but they don’t realize that is how they get into our water supply, so we’re asking people to bring them here.”

Short said Thursday’s drive was the fourth year the take back event has been held, adding it would not be possible without the assistance of pharmacies in Opp, Florala and Andalusia.

“We get help from Pharm-a-Care in Andalusia and Florala, as well as from T&C in Opp and Darby’s in Andalusia,” she said.

Greg Jackson with the 22nd Judicial Drug Task force, which also assisted in Thursday’s event, said the pills would be taken to an undisclosed location and incinerated.