WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WAWV/WTWO) – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has plans to partner with local law enforcement for the 22nd annual Drug Take Back Day.


Saturday April 30th the DEA will allow communities the opportunity to properly dispose of expired or to prevent accidental poisonings and overdoses.

Drug Enforcement Administration Chicago and Indianapolis Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Gannon said the DEA has conducted several studies around the dangers prescription pileups cause.

“There a lot of studies to show that medicine in people can lead to potential drug misuse, abuse, and addiction,” Gannon said.

Gannon said the administration is continues to see opioids and fentanyl related overdoses.

“Over 20 million pills have been ceased that had fentanyl in, and when you look at the pills that have been ceased 4/10 had a potential fatal dosage unit,” Gannon said

Hamilton Center Deputy Chief of Addiction Services Natasha Newcomb attributes the amount laced street drugs to the stricter prescription guidelines the past couple years.

“When people were first prescribed pain medication, there were no warning information,” Newcomb said. “Nobody was told they were going to get addicted. Now you have these people who no longer have access and start to turn to other things.”

However, Newcomb said there’s still an outstanding number of prescribed opioids in Vigo County at 81.3 prescriptions per 100 residents.

“The state average for Indiana is 56.9 prescriptions per 100 people, so Vigo County is quite a bit higher still than the state,” Newcomb said. “Vigo County is double the national level at 43.3 per 100.”

Newcomb said drug misuse and abuse goes beyond pain and mental health medications.

Natasha Newcomb: “If I don’t have a heart condition and take a medication that might slow my heart rate down that’s dangerous,” Newcomb said. “It’s not just pain medications, it’s not just metal health medications, it’s all medications in general.”

Indiana State Police Sergeant Matt Ames said Drug Take Back Day will allow the community to come together to prevent potential drug abuse.

“The most important thing is that everything is safe for the environment and the public,” Ames said.

Ames said it’s simple to participate.

“All you have to do is take the items that you are not wanting anymore or that you need to turn in, and mark all your information off of your pill bottles or the liquid bottles that you have,” Ames said. “From there place those items into a clear sealed plastic bag and take them to our local state police post.

For a list of drop-off sites near you visit DEA’s Take Back Day site and click on Collection Site locator. The administration will host another Drug Take Back Day in October.