Ellis County citizens participated in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Event on Saturday.

After residents cleaned out their medicine cabinets of expired and unused prescription and over-the-counter medications, and dropping them off at one of the Prescription Drug Take Back locations around the county for an environmentally safe and proper disposal, more than 800 pounds were collected.

This program is a partnership of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, Ellis County Constable Pct. 1, Ennis, Italy, Midlothian, Palmer, Red Oak, and Waxahachie police departments, Ennis ISD PD, Waxahachie ISD, Brookshire’s, Wal-Mart, REACH Council, and IMPACT Communities.

Collections for the participating RX Take Back sites on Saturday were Ennis (which brought in 173 pounds), Italy (27 pounds), Midlothian (93 pounds), Palmer (38 pounds), Red Oak (54 pounds), and Waxahachie (475 pounds) for a total of 860 pounds of expired and unused medications collected in Ellis County.

The Prescription Drug Take Back is part of a national effort by law enforcement and community coalitions to reduce the availability of unmonitored medications in home medicine cabinets. Each day, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, as well as the home medicine cabinet.

Turning in medications to law enforcement officers is the best way to safely dispose of these potentially hazardous materials and keep them away from youth. Please do not throw away or flush medications down a toilet, which results in contamination of local water supplies and landfills.

Ellis County currently has five permanent drop box locations for residents to drop off unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications.

• Ennis - Ellis County Constable Pct. 1 (207 S. Sonoma Trail)

• Italy – Italy Police Department (161 W. Main)

• Midlothian – Midlothian Police Department (1150 N. US Hwy 67)

• Red Oak – Red Oak Police Department (547 N. Methodist St.)

• Waxahachie – Waxahachie Police Department (216 N. College)

For more information regarding the Prescription Drug Take Back, or questions on the permanent Rx Drug Drop Box locations in Ellis County, please contact IMPACT Communities at 972-937-1531 or email at sphillips@dpri.com.

IMPACT Communities is a coalition of community volunteers who work together to provide public education, law enforcement, and public policy strategies to prevent youth substance abuse and build safe, healthy and drug-free communities.