Prescription drop boxes purchased over a decade ago by the Porter County Substance Abuse Council for local law enforcement agencies to provide a safe and anonymous means to dispose of unwanted and unused prescriptions yielded 1,146 pounds during the recent Take Back Day.
The DEA sponsors the bi-annual collection day in April and October to collect prescriptions throughout the country and partners with coalitions addressing substance abuse issues. In Indiana, the area that spans Dyer to Fort Wayne, known as the DEA Merrillville Resident Office, collected over 9,700 pounds of surrendered medications this period.
The Council was able to mobilize funding from the Local Coordinating Council community funds, the Drug Free Communities grant as well as the Partners for Success grant. “In total, we spent over $7,000.00 to promote this event,” said Dawn Pelc, Executive Director of the Council. “The funds spent were definitely worth the return on investment,” added Pelc. Sheriff Reynolds was instrumental in the call to action, as he was able to provide radio messages throughout the months leading up to the collection, as well as Coroner Chuck Harris, Substance Abuse Council Secretary that represented the Council on billboards throughout the county.
“It was a community effort that we invested time and money into and the numbers prove that it was an effective campaign, said Tim Beach, Council President and Drunk Driving Task Force Chairman. “Since 2011, the Council in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies has collected over 516 boxes of meds totaling 16,387 pounds,” said Beach.
Residents are able to surrender their drugs throughout the year at the following collection points: Porter County Sheriff’s Department, Valparaiso Police Department, Hebron Police Department, Portage Police Department and Porter Police Department.