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Annual drug take back day a national event

May 11, 2011

From left are Bremen Police Chief Matt Hassel, DEA Special Agent Bert Davidson, and Reserve Officer Landa Stone. Photo by Angel Perkins

BREMEN — The Bremen Police Department was at Woodie’s Supermarket Saturday taking part in the second national Drug Take Back Day. Chief Matt Hassel said the day proved to be a success — with community members, many of them seniors, bringing in their expired, unwanted or unused medications. By 1:30 p.m. Hassel and his men, reserve officers, and DEA Special Agent Bert Davidson had collected more than a box full (of the two they had brought) of discarded drugs.
“We want to make sure that the drugs don’t get into the hands of kids or that they won’t be used or sold to someone by the people that might find them,” said Agent Davidson. “We want to get the word out so that the drugs can be disposed of properly.”
Typically consumers dispose of their unwanted drugs by throwing them in the trash and in the past, have been directed to flush them down the toilet. But, the law enforcement officials explained, those practices have been proven to be a bad idea.
“Anything that a person flushes goes straight to the water treatment plant,” Chief Hassel said. And prescription and other medications aren’t normal things that treatment plants don’t look for and normally can’t effectively remove.
“Those drugs are difficult if not impossible to remove from the water,” he continued. “Unfortunately, that can get back into the water system.” He explained that even if people don’t get into the trash and find the medications, their being enveloped in a local landfill could also result in the chemicals being leaked back into local water supplies.
“We take part in the drug take back program because it is an excellent idea,” explained Chief Hassel, “and people can bring in their medications to the department any time to be disposed of.” He also said that people from anywhere can turn in the unused medications, that they didn’t need to specifically be from Bremen to turn them into the department.
The event is also sponsored by the Bremen Reserve Officers organization.

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