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insight from WFPD: National Take-Back Initiative to be held April 28

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The West Fargo Police department will be working with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on safely removing and disposing unwanted prescription drugs. This will be the fourth time for this national event. From the three past events DEA has boosted participation from citizens nationwide resulting in over 993,185 pounds or 498.5 tons of medications turned in. West Fargo joined with DEA as a collection site on the first "Take-Back Initiative" in 2011 and continues to be a drop site.

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Citizens are asked to turn in their expired or unused prescription medications to the West Fargo Police Department's secure drop box. Citizens can come to the police department, located at 800 4th Ave. E., during normal business hours 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. seven days a week and safely drop medications in the secure drop box located in the lobby. There is no fee for disposing the medications at the police department.

Any liquid medications must be double sealed. No sharps are allowed. Any pill medication may be in the pill container or in a sealed plastic bag. Please no loose pills; there will be free plastic bags available to secure the pills.

Unused or expired medications are a public safety issue. Medications in the wrong hands are no different than the use of illegal street drugs. Non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America according to the DEA. Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. Unused drugs that are flushed down a toilet or other drain can contaminate the water supply. The proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.

On Sept. 29, 2010, the U.S. Congress unanimously passed Senate bill 3397 that helps communities by removing a key barrier to creating a statewide program to safely return and dispose of left-over meds. President Obama signed the "Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010" into law on Oct. 12, 2010. Congress took action to support the creation of medicine take-back options that reduce prescription drug abuse and reduce the amount of pharmaceuticals getting into the environment.

For more information about prescription drug abuse or the "Take back Initiative" go to the following web sites: www.dea.gov, www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com or www.justhinktwice.com.

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