Carbondale police collect expired, unwanted drugs


By Rebekah Sanders, @RSanders_DE

During 10 weekends in the past five years, the Drug Enforcement Agency collected more than 5.5 million pounds of prescription drugs across the nation — some of which came from Carbondale. 

Carbondale police contributes to these figures by collecting expired and unwanted over-the-counter and prescription drugs — something the department did Saturday as a part of the National Take-Back initiative. Students and the local community were invited to turn in the drugs anonymously.

Carbondale police Sgt. Doug Wilson, a 17-year police veteran, estimates five to seven large boxes of drugs are given to the DEA at each initiative in the city.


“We do it because we don’t want people to take expired medication, because it could become a poison to them,” Wilson said. “Also there’s a lot of prescription drug abuse and so if someone wants to get rid of their old prescription narcotics so a friend or neighbor or relative doesn’t try to take it from them and use it inappropriately, they can bring it here to get rid of it.” 

The local law enforcement agency not only collected the medication, but informed the general public about potential abuse for medication, according to the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control’s website. 

The DEA sponsors this event twice a year, usually in late April and early October.

In fall’s initiative, more than 3,800 federal, state and local agencies took in more than 702,365 pounds of unused, expired or unwanted drugs at more than 5,000 collection sites across the United States, according to a DEA news release. 

The medication was burned by the DEA at an unnamed facility. 

If community members missed this initiative, a person can contact their local hospital or clinic to inquire about safe ways to dispose their medication.

Rebekah Sanders can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3325.