Expired or unused medications in your cabinet? A safe way to dispose of them is through the semi-annual “Take It To The Box” drug take back, slated for April 27.

Ellis County residents have their choice of eight locations to drop off their medications quickly, safely and anonymously. The drug take back serves two purposes: preventing the disposal of medications into the water system and the illegal use of them in the hands of other people.

“Next to marijuana, the most common illegal drugs teens are using to get ‘high’ are prescription medications – and home medicine cabinets are the No. 1 point of access for these drugs,” an IMPACT Communities message reads. 

The drug take back program serves a good purpose in getting expired and unused medications out of homes and to a proper point of disposal, said Shari Phillips, IMPACT Communities and DFC Program Manager for Drug Prevention Resources.

“We always encourage people to turn their unused medicines in and to clean those cabinets out twice a year,” she said. “It’s been a really successful program that we’ve been doing in Ellis County since 2011.”

Across the state of Texas, 302 law enforcement organizations participate in the spring and fall drug take backs. More than 4,600 LEOs participate across the United States.

“We have eight locations participating in Ellis County,” Phillips said. “Since 2011, in Waxahachie alone, we have collected 3,579 pounds of unused medications. For the county, and including Waxahachie, we’ve collected 9,751 pounds since 2011.”

Phillips extends her appreciation to the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, which has led the effort for several years now. 

“They’re the ones that accept the medications that are brought in from around the county and transport them to the DEA in Dallas,” she said. “Without ECSO, we would probably have less participation. It’s convenient for the other agencies to have the medications transported by ECSO.”

Those unable to make the drug take back day can utilize any of the permanent drop boxes located at various points across the county, including one in the lobby at the Waxahachie Police Department. More information on those locations is available at therxdropbox.com

Safe bags also are made available through a partnership with Meals on Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties for homebound people to use to collect their medicines in and then render them inert. 

“This is another safe way of disposal,” Phillips said. 

For more information about the drug take back program, contact Phillips at 972-937-1531.

Drug take back drop-off sites:

• Coleman Junior High parking lot, 1000 N. U.S. Highway 77, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

• Ennis ISD administration building, 303 Knox St., 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

• Palmer City Hall, 113 W. Jefferson, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Red Oak Police Department, 547 N. Methodist St., 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Maypearl Police Department, 104 E. Second St., 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Milford Police Department, 107 E. Main St., 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Italy Police Department, 161 W. Main St., 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Ferris town square gazebo, 100 Town Plaza, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

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