Local residents will have the opportunity to participate in a campaign designed to fight prescription drug abuse during the third annual "Take Back" event slated for Saturday, April 28.
The campaign will offer residents the opportunity to turn in their unused or expired over-the-counter and prescription medications for safe disposal. The take back center will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Old Town Pharmacy, located at Highway 60 and Chapell Drive in Monett.
"The event allows for safe disposal of medications in order to protect our youth from teen prescription drug abuse and to protect groundwater supplies," said Leesa Ginther, public health nurse with the Barry County Health Department and head of the Barry County Health Department Connections Coalition, which is spearheading the Take Back event.
Teen prescription drug abuse is a growing concern, with over 50 percent of teens polled in a recent survey indicating prescription drugs were easier to get from their home medicine cabinets than trying to purchase illegal drugs on the street.
The local effort is being held in cooperation with the Monett Police Department and School Resource Officer Jay Jastal and in conjunction with the national Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Medication Take Back campaign.
Anyone can take their unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications to the pharmacy on April 28. Intravenous solutions, injectable drugs and syringes cannot be accepted. Local law enforcement officials will be on hand to collect the drugs, which will then be turned over to DEA officials for disposal.
Employees at Old Town Pharmacy will be serving grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, chips and soda, and the 1957 Monett police car will be on display.
The Barry County Health Department will also be promoting its Breathe Easy Barry County (BEBC) campaign, offering information on the county's tobacco use and how to become a BEBC supporter.
Supporters for this year's event include: Weiser Tent, The Monett Times, Old Town Pharmacy and the Barry County Health Department. The event will be organized by the Barry County Connections Coalition.