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Since January 2011, the Grand Prairie Police Department has encountered the following prescription drug-related incidents:
- 22 intentional or accidental overdoses
- One fatal overdose
- 291 prescription pill exhibits tagged as evidence
- 165 criminal investigations (most involving criminal possession of pills or overdoses)
In October, 66 vehicles came to the Grand Prairie Police Department for the National Take Back Initiative, a medication disposal event. Ten boxes were filled with unwanted medications. The new program will make medication disposal available on a regular basis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that, in 2010 alone, one in 20 people in the United States used painkillers without a prescription and prescription overdoses in the past decade have exceeded heroin and cocaine overdoses combined.
Improper disposal of medications has also been blamed for contamination of the public water supply in many cities. Studies have revealed quantities of pain medication, hormones, antibiotics, birth control, caffeine, anti-epileptic, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant and anti-seizure compounds in many water samples taken across the country.
“This program is important for Grand Prairie residents because unwanted and outdated pharmaceuticals pose serious safety and environmental threats,” Grand Prairie Police Chief Steve Dye said. “Pharmaceuticals are blamed for child poisonings, they are sometimes illegally used and if improperly disposed, they can contaminate our streams and drinking water.”
For more information about Grand Prairie’s Medication Disposal Program, call the Grand Prairie Police Department Property and Evidence Division at 972-237-8811.