Drug Drop Off Day Saturday - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Drug Drop Off Day Saturday


WATERLOO (KWWL)-- A new report indicates an escalation in Iowa's synthetic drug abuse problem and an increase in methamphetamine and marijuana users needing treatment. Synthetic drug abuse is the fastest growing category of substance abuse in the state of Iowa.

New data released Wednesday shows that the painkillers hydrocodone and oxycodone made up more than 37 percent of all medications prescribed to Iowans last year.

Also troubling as that is, a White House National Drug Control Policy report shows the emergence of so-called teenage 'pharm' parties. Pharm, as in pharmaceuticals, and the increasing abuse of prescription drugs.

That's why the Waterloo Police Department is joining in the national anti-prescription drug campaign known as the American Medicine Chest Challenge. Waterloo Police Chief, Dan Trelka says,  "We have too many drugs that are simply sitting in medicine cabinets, and we don't want those drugs entering out water treatment plants, but more importantly, we don't want people getting access to those drugs that should not have access to them."

The American Medicine Chest Challenge is an effort to get all unused, unwanted, no longer needed and expired prescription drugs out of medicine chests and out of reach for good: Chief Trelka has a rather personal reason for his police department getting involved for the first time.

"We're setting up this event so people can drop off these prescription drugs, even illegal drugs, so that we can just get them out of society. Sadly, I have a personal connection to these drugs that float around out there because my 14-year old cousin died of a drug overdose in 2007. Kids raided their parent's medicine cabinet--they had a drug party and he took seven Vicodin. He did not know what they were, and ended up dying because it was ingested; these drugs were ingested."    

The American Medicine Chest Challenge urges everyone to do a complete inventory of all prescription drugs in the home. In addition, make sure your medicine cabinet in always locked. Lastly, properly dispose of all expired, unused and unwanted drugs; don't flush them down the toilet, and don't pour them down a drain.

Says Chief Trelka. "Too many of these drugs end up in our sewer system, or people end up taking them and experimenting with them. We're just trying to avoid all that."

The Waterloo Medicine Chest Challenge drug drop off location this Saturday, November, 13, is Trinity Lutheran Church at 605 West 4th Street from 9 Saturday morning until 1 o'clock Saturday afternoon. Residents can just take their drugs to Trinity Lutheran and drop them off. 

The Chief says no questions will be asked, regardless of the kind of drugs dropped off. "Let's say a parent finds marijuana and they just want to get rid of it. They can bring it by and drop it off; no questions asked."

Besides Waterloo, only seven other locations in the KWWL-TV viewing area are taking part in the medicine chest challenge. Floyd County residents can go to the Floyd County Health Department in Charles City. The Linn County drug drop off location is the Mt. Vernon City Hall. The Wyoming City Hall is the drop off point Saturday in Jones County.

In addition, the local fire stations in Keota, What Cheer and Sigourney will serve as drug drop off locations, as well as the United Presbyterian Church in Washington.

Online Reporter: Ron Steele





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