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Community Drug Take Back Drive-Thru Event this Saturday

Albany, Ga. – This Saturday, August 22, the community will have the opportunity to safely and conveniently dispose of medications at a Drug Take Back Drive-Thru event. The improper disposal of unused and expired medications can create the potential for misuse and abuse. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Dougherty County Health Department, located at 1710 S. Slappey Blvd. in Albany.

"The goal for this event is to remove unneeded medications from homes to help prevent abuse and overdoses," said Dr. Charles Ruis, District Health Director, Southwest Health District. "The medications will be collected by local law enforcement and safely disposed of, no questions asked."

In addition, Public Health will be distributing a supply of Narcan, at no charge, to anyone 18 and older who is known to have a problem with excess use of opioids or is likely to be in the presence of someone with an opioid problem. Also known as naloxone, the drug is a lifesaving antidote used in cases of opioid/narcotic overdose.

The Drug Take Back Drive-Thru event is sponsored in part by Phoebe’s Network of Trust, Morehouse School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit, Dougherty County EMS and Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful.

Phoebe’s Network of Trust has partnered with Morehouse School of Medicine for the past three years to educate the community on the prevention and misuse of opioids. “We are excited to be a partner in bringing this event to our community and providing a safe environment for citizens to dispose of the medications they no longer use or need. Working together is crucial as we continue to fight the opioid crisis,” said Angie Barber, Director, Phoebe Network of Trust.

While opioid medications are important for acute pain control, many of the prescription pills often go unused but remain in homes and medicine cabinets making them vulnerable for accidents and misuse. According to Dr. Ruis, the Georgia Department of Public Health database shows that 11 citizens of Dougherty County died of opioid overdoses during calendar year 2019. That was a noticeable increase compared to three deaths in 2018. Multiple drug overdose deaths have already occurred in Dougherty County this year.