PBPN and U.S. Attorney for Kansas Hold News Conference on Drug Take Back Program

October 21, 2011 –

A Metzger-Potter-Joyce-B Grissom 1.jpg

From left to right:  Alan Metzger, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Tribal Council officers Jim Potter and Joyce Guerrero, and Barry Grissom, U.S. Attorney in Kansas.

MAYETTA:  “Safely disposing of old and used prescription drugs is the first step in dealing with America’s prescription drug abuse epidemic,” said U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom today at a news conference at the Bingo Hall.  He, along with Joyce Guerrero, Vice Chairperson of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBPN), and Jim Potter, Tribal Council Secretary, were on hand at the Bingo Hall today to urge the public to take part in National Drug Take Back Day coming up next Saturday.

The PBPN will take an active part as the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribal Police Department is one of the collection sites where bottles of prescription medications that are unused or expired can be brought to on Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Medications included are prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and the police will also take illicit drugs (with no questions asked).  The tribal police department is located at 16344 Q Rd, Mayetta, Kan.

“Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in American,” Grissom said.  “Our family medicine cabinets are full of old and unused bottles of powerful pain killers, sedatives, tranquilizers and stimulants that should be disposed of safely.” He also said that law enforcement and health care providers need the public’s help to tackle this problem.

Mike Carpenter, pharmacist for the Prairie Band Health Center, and other Health Center staff, has also been promoting the National Drug Take Back Day and was at the press conference today.   According to the Centers for Disease Control, prescription drugs cause more overdose deaths than cocaine or heroin.

Congress recently passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 to give consumers a safe and responsible way to dispose of unused prescription drugs. Consumers currently seeking to reduce the amount of expired or unwanted prescription drugs in their homes have few disposal options, increasing the risk of drug abuse and poisonings.  The Secure and Responsible Disposal Act of 2010 seeks to reduce these risks by permitting individuals to deliver their unused medications to our Drug Take Back program.

Up to 17 percent of prescribed medications go unused, and if improperly disposed, may contribute to drug diversion and environmental problems.  This is a concern as studies have shown that medications are present in the water systems and may cause ecological concern and that storing old medications may increase the opportunity for illicit use.  One in five teens report intentionally misusing someone else’s prescription drugs to get high.

For other collection site locations visit the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Diversion Control at: