Police, sheriff’s offices hold Drug Take Back Day

In nearly every household there’s a strong possibility that unused prescription medication is sitting in the back of a cupboard or medicine cabinet. Saturday is the chance to clean house.

"I mean, especially just going off my own experience, I might use one or two for the initial pain and from that point on, I don't really need them," Ramsey County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody Howie told FOX 9 of the pain meds he’s been prescribed in the past.

Research from the National Institute of Health (NIH) indicates two out of every three prescriptions go unused. Law enforcement and medical professionals alike say that creates a dangerous temptation for children who may be in the house.

During the past decade, many left over opioid-based painkillers have led to addiction and overdoses

"It's a big deal, you know, with overdose deaths on the rise. We want to decrease access to these harmful substances," Taylor Hohmann of the Ramsey Co. OPUS Coalition said. "There were 678 overdose deaths in Minnesota in 2020, up from a little over 400. And the opioid epidemic isn't going away anytime soon. We want to do everything that we can do to stop these overdoses and deaths."

As a result the OPUS Coalition is teaming up for Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Drug Take Back Day – holding a drop-off collection site in the parking lot of the Midway Cub Foods store on University Avenue in St. Paul on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

"No questions asked," Deputy Howie said. "We want you to empty out anything you might have lying around that can help reduce any of these unforeseen casualties or hospitalizations that might occur."

Many police agencies across the Twin Cities are holding their own drug take back events, and a full list can be found HERE.