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Ellis County residents participated in the 18th annual National DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Event on Saturday, Oct. 26.

After cleaning out their medicine cabinets of expired and unused prescription and over-the-counter medications, they disposed of them at one of the registered DEA Drug Take Back locations around the county for an environmentally safe and responsible disposal.

The DEA Dallas Field Division (North Texas and Oklahoma) reports collecting more than 37,000 pounds through the initiative. Nationally, there were 4,896 law enforcement agencies that participated, collecting 882,919 pounds (or 441.5 tons) of medications.

To date, the Drug Enforcement Agency reports collecting and disposing of 12,699,456 pounds (or 6,349.7 tons) of expired and unused medications.

The Prescription Drug Take Back is part of a national effort by law enforcement and community coalitions to reduce the availability of unmonitored medications in home medicine cabinets. Each day, about 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, as well as their home medicine cabinet.

Turning medications into law enforcement officers is the best way to safely dispose of these potentially hazardous materials and keep them away from youth. Please do not throw away or flush medications down a toilet, which results in contamination of local water supplies and landfills. This causes the

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 contaminants to leak into the soil and water supplies without the ability to be removed.

Ellis County has eight permanent drop box locations where residents can take and drop off unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications year-round. These locations are:

• Ennis – Ellis County Constable Pct. 1 (207 S. Sonoma Trail)

• Ferris – Ferris Police Department (111 Ewing Blvd.)

• Italy – Italy Police Department (161 W. Main St.)

• Maypearl – Maypearl Police Department (104 E. Second St.)

• Midlothian – Midlothian Police Department (1150 N. US Hwy 67)

• Milford – Milford Police Department (107 S. Main St.)

• Red Oak – Red Oak Police Department (547 N. Methodist St.)

• Waxahachie – Waxahachie Police Department (630 Farley St.)

For more information regarding the Prescription Drug Take Back or questions about the permanent prescription drop box locations in Ellis County, contact the nonprofit Reach Council at 972-723-1053, ext. 105,

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