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The Benton Police Department is launching Operation Medicine Cabinet X on Sept. 27th as part of the on-going DEA prescription medicine take back initiative. Officers will once again be staffing a drop-off location in the city in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies in the county and state.
Everyone is encouraged to start looking through their own medicine cabinet in preparation for this event, and if you can’t make it on Sept. 27th you’re encouraged to use the 24 hour drop-off box located at the Benton Police Department.   The drop off site will be at Ferguson’s Furniture located on Military Rd. located in Benton from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Wal-Mart gift cards and Sonic drink coupons will once again be offered, while supplies last, for those that participate by dropping off medicine. 
Saline County and Benton have both leaders in the state in the amount of drugs taken back in all of the previous statewide drug take backs, having taken back over 3 tons to date.  That isn’t to say we necessarily have more of a problem with prescription drug abuse, just that our population is more attune to the problem and is better educated about the dangers.  By continuing to educate the community, our intention is to continue leading the state in future drug take back events and see a decrease in the amount of injuries and deaths associated with their misuse.
Just a reminder, approximately 2/3 of all prescription drugs illegally obtained are taken from people’s homes and not pharmacies or off the street.  Approximately 1/5 (52 million people) of the US population aged 12 and older reported non-medical use of psychotherapeutic drugs at some point in their lifetime.  These include prescription-type pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives.
A recent government survey finds the number of young adult’s ages 18 to 25 who used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in the past month declined 14 percent, from 2 million in 2010, to 1.7 million in 2011. Overall, the survey found a 12 percent decline in the number of Americans who abused prescription drugs.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) also found that non-medical use of prescription drugs among children ages 12 to 17, and adults 26 or older, remained essentially unchanged. According to the survey, rates of past-month drinking, binge drinking, and heavy drinking among those who are underage are all on the decline. Marijuana use is up slightly, from 5.8 percent in 2007, to 7.2 percent in 2012. Tobacco use among teens ages 12 to 17 is down.
The purpose of sharing these statistics is to convey the importance of participating in drug take back events and the continuance of education to our citizens.  If for some reason somebody cannot make it to one of the take-back locations, but they still want to get rid of old medicine, then they may drop them off at our 24/7 drop box located at the Benton Police Department (114 S. East St.).
Additional details about Operation Medicine Cabinet X will be forthcoming soon, but until then please mark your calendar and make plans to attend on Sept. 27th.  For additional information about prescription drug abuse and helpful links please visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s website at:  For information on the statewide drug take back and other drop off sites please go to: