Ellis County citizens participated in the National DEA Prescription Drug Take-Back event this past Saturday and collected over 1,000 pounds of unused and expired prescription or over-the-counter medication.

The number collected is up from just over 800 pounds in November.

Residents disposed of the medications at one of the drug take-back locations around the county for environmentally safe and proper disposal.

This program is a partnership of the DEA, Drug Prevention Resources, Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, Ellis County Constable Pct. 1, Ennis, Ferris, Italy, Milford, Maypearl, Midlothian, Palmer, and Waxahachie Police Departments, Ennis ISD PD, Ennis ISD, Waxahachie ISD, and IMPACT Communities Coalitions.

Collections for the participating take-back sites were Ennis (257 pounds), Ferris (27 pounds), Italy, (28 pounds), Maypearl (16 pounds) Midlothian (215 pounds), Milford (28 pounds), Palmer (19 pounds), Red Oak (164 pounds), and Waxahachie (363 pounds) — for a total of 1117 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 their home medicine cabinet.

Turning medications into law enforcement officers is the best way to safely dispose of these potentially hazardous materials and keep them away from our youth. Please do not throw away or flush medications down a toilet, which results in contamination of our local water supplies and landfills. This causes the contaminants to leak into our soil and water supplies without the hope of removal even chemical removal.

For more information regarding the Prescription Drug Take Back, or questions on the permanent prescription drop box locations in Ellis County please contact IMPACT Communities at 972-937-1531, visit our website www.TheRxDropBox.com, or email us at info@drugfreegen.org.