From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27th, the McPherson Police Department and the Drug Enforcement administration will give the public its sixteenth opportunity in seven years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring pills for disposal to the McPherson Joint Law Enforcement Center at 1177 W. Woodside St. No needles or sharps, only pills or patches will be accepted. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

This past April Americans turned in 475 tons of prescription drugs at nearly 5,842 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,600 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, during its 15 previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in more than 9.5 million pounds — or more than 4,900 tons — of pills.

Take Back events address a vital public health and safety problem. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses because of these drugs.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual method of disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash— both pose potential safety and health hazards.