The event - Operation Medicine Cabinet - was a huge success, said ZPD Police Chief David McDavid.
"Officers collected over 65 pounds of medication from the citizens of Zachary. I would like to thank the Louisiana chapter of NADDI and Georgia Pacific for their sponsorship of the program," McDavid said.
The initiative called for citizens to drop off unwanted or expired medicine for safe disposal at a collection site located behind the Zachary PD last Saturday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Paper products from GP, plus a free bowl of pastalaya cooked by Tom Brown, Susan Smith and Aimee Bertholot, were given to each person dropping off medicine, which included any prescription drug used for people or pets such as pills, liquids, inhalers, patches and Epi-Pens.
Items not accepted were syringes or medical equipment.
Chief McDavid reminds the community that a NADDI drop box is also located just inside the Florida Street entrance to the ZPD and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
All medicines dropped-off will safely be disposed of by incineration, the police chief said.
The event was made possible by NADDI, which has launched a program designed to significantly reduce the prescription drugs in homes that are no longer needed or expired.
These drugs have unfortunately become the target of theft or misuse, often by the the people who have access to the residence, explained Chief McDavid.
In the U.S., prescription drugs have become the number one substance of abuse among teens ages 12 - 17. Much of their supply is coming from medicine cabinets inside their own homes or from grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and other family members.
Law enforcement is the only entity legally able to accept and dispose of the drugs properly so they don't fall into the wrong hands.
McDavid offers these safe disposal tips for household medications:
• Never flush medicine down the toilet. It can interfere with wastewater treatment plant operations, beneficial bacteria and harm fish downstream.
• Keep medicine in its original container to keep from falling into the wrong hands.
• Mark/cross out a patient’s name and prescription number prior to disposal.
• Treat pills by adding water or soda to dissolve them. For liquids, add something absorbent such as cat litter or dirt.
• Close all lids securely with duct tape. Place bottles inside an opaque (non-see thru) container such as coffee can or laundry detergent bottle.
• Conceal containers inside your trash can, and be sure not to place in the recycle bin.
McDavid says Operation Medicine Cabinet will become an annual event for the Zachary community.
Members of the ZPD participating in last Saturday's event included: Officers Dennis Flurry, Derek Hall, Kevin Hinote and Shawntelle Johnson, Detectives Enoch Sims and Ty Stephens and Sgt. Brian Morris, K9 Rukus and Chief McDavid, among others.