BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)— On Sunday, Aug. 23, in Baton Rouge local agencies partnered with the Baton Rouge Police Department for the DEA’s 20th Annual Drug Takeback Day where people drive by the Baton Rouge Police Headquarters to drop off their prescriptions, no questions asked.
Blue Cross Federal Investigations Manager Kandyce Cowart says, “We always have great turnouts at these events. At our event in 2019, we collected over a thousand pounds of medication. I think we may surpass that today.”
BRPD Public Information Officer Don Coppola, says, “It’s a great partnership. we have been together for quite some time, involved with drug takeback. It’s such a great event, so we invite you to come out to our Baton Rouge Police Headquarters.”
This initiative helped address the growing problem of drug abuse which has evolved over time.
Cowart explains, “Many years ago, drug abuse began on the street maybe in a dark alley with a drug dealer. Today, drug abuse starts in the home, when our teenagers, family members, guests go to our homes. Go into our medicine cabinets and take out unused, unwanted and expired medication.”
Community members stopped by the event and dropped off expired or unused prescription drugs.
Baton Rouge Resident Marianne Tansil says, “Whichever way they decided to dispose of it. It is probably better than the way I would have disposed of it.”
It is something so easy that can make a huge difference.
“The one thing you don’t want is for those prescriptions to get into the wrong hands,” says Coppola.
Cowart says, “In 2020 we saw more overdose deaths than at any point in history. So, we are literally in a crisis situation and events like today’s event are, looking to prevent more deaths.”
The event also fostered a sense of community.
Coppola says, “We are glad to see you on our drug take-back days, so even if you don’t have anything, come out and say hello.”
If you missed today’s event don’t worry they do have a drop-off box open to the public every day.
They plan to hold another event like this one sometime in October.