Local law enforcement agencies from around Acadiana will be teaming up with the Drug Enforcement Administration for the National Take-Back Initiative to get unused medications disposed of properly.

St. Mary Parish Sheriff Mark Hebert says his agency will be participating in the program this weekend.

Hebert says unused medications in your home can create health concerns for a variety of reasons:

  • Accidental Ingestion
  • Stolen medicine
  • Misused medicine
  • Someone abusing drugs

He says it offers people a chance to prevent the medicine from falling into the wrong hands or someone getting hurt from expired, unused or unwanted prescription pills.

Hebert says the statistics show the number of people abusing prescription drugs dropped last year from 6.8 million to 6.5 million.  He adds though that those numbers are double the number of drug abusers using drugs like heroin, cocaine and ecstasy combined according to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Hebert says he wants people to get rid of these unused drugs so they don't fall into the wrong hands.  He adds that in 2011 a little more than 22,000 Americans died from overdoses from prescription medicines.

So how do you get rid of these drugs in St. Mary Parish this Saturday?  Hebert says bring all medicines to one of two locations.

They will be collecting the prescriptions at two locations:

  • The West St. Mary Civic Center at 1472 Louisiana Highway 318 in Jeanerette
  • The Berwick Civic Center at 300 Pattie Drive in Berwick

You can drop off the meds between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

In April of this year, the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office was able to collect more than 35 pounds of unwanted prescriptions.