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Mailbox drop-off disposal of drugs protects kids, environment

Posted: October 2, 2009 3:53 p.m.
Updated: October 2, 2009 10:00 p.m.
LOS ANGELES (PRNewswire) -- Drugs are toxic, both to the environment... and people, especially children, some of whom hold "pharming" parties to pop leftover scrips.

Thus, a new pilot program to provide mailbox-like safe drop-off sites was announced Sept. 29 by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and mayors and councilmen and women from half a dozen L.A. County townships, joined by Narconon International.

The problem is serious. The No. 1 rising trend in youthful drug use in the U.S. is in pharmaceutical, prescription and over-the-counter. Kids get some of these drugs from the Internet but mostly from home -- the medicine cabinet.

But what about the environment? Flushing or dumping these toxins is not a good idea.

Said Mayor Judy Mitchell of Rolling Hills Estates, representing the South Bay Council of Government: "To prevent water and landfill pollution, we announce today a new way of disposing of prescriptions that have expired or that you don't want anymore."

The simple solution is to provide special mailboxes to drop off drugs, which will be destroyed by the Sheriff's Department (incineration, most likely). Even illegal drugs can be dropped off voluntarily and anonymously.

The pilot drop-off mailbox location is the sheriff's station in the town of Lomita, Sheriff Baca said. Once the public shows it supports the program, drop-off mailboxes will be provided across the county.

Baca invited Teddy Chambers of Narconon International to provide a drug education and awareness back-up.

"For this to work, children and parents will need to know about it," Chambers said, "Narconon drug education lecturers, who present to tens of thousands of youth yearly, will describe this program and distribute flyers to get back to parents. We sincerely hope they will take advantage of this opportunity.

"Not just young people have the misconception that there are 'good' drugs and 'bad' drugs," Chambers added.

"Too many kids think that pharmaceutical drugs can provide a safe high. False, false, false. Scrips and over-the-counter (drugs) are for specific conditions, specific dosages, specific amount of time. Abuse any of these and you may get nauseated, have
seizures, become addicted, or even die."

"It's no longer necessary to have this accumulation of drugs in our medicine cabinets," Sheriff Baca said. "They should be brought here safely, disposed of anonymously, and we will deal with them appropriately."


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