Mishawaka, Ind. Between 1200 and 1500 pounds of pill and liquid medications were collected by the Mishawaka and South Bend Fire Stations for Thursday’s pill drop organized by the Triad of St. Joseph County.
The event is part of an effort to reduce the number of expired or unwanted medications in the home that could fall into the hands of unknowing children or teens looking to abuse them. It’s also part of an effort to keep left over narcotics off the street and protect local waterways from the contamination of improper disposal.
Capt. Robert Reppert of the Mishawaka Police Department estimated that more than 500 cars pulled in the drive-thru drop off lanes to dispose of their medications.
“It’s an extremely popular event with the citizens,” said Reppert, “What’s important is it prevents individuals from having the need to flush these items down the toilet or pouring them down the sink.”
Narcotics are taken to a local Drug Enforcement Administration office and then incinerated at a facility in Indianapolis.
Some of the discarded medications are expired, while others are no longer necessary.
“One thing that we find very common is that our citizens may have had a family member that passed away and they've had some narcotics that they just don't know how to dispose of,” Reppert said. “The pill drop comes up and they will dispose of the narcotics with us that way.”
Triad of St. Joseph County is part of a national program to promote the education of senior citizens and is comprised law enforcement officers, community agencies and individuals interested in the welfare of seniors.
Triad of St. Joseph County will also sponsor another pill drop next April.