weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Drug take-back day set for Pahrump

Though prescription drugs play a crucial role in maintaining the health of those needing them, the Drug Enforcement Agency, noted on its website that more than 130 people die each day from opioid overdoses in the United States.

Moreover, last year, the number of children hospitalized for opioid poisoning increased three-fold, between 1997 and 2012, according to the agency.

As such, officials from the Nye County Sheriff’s Office are again participating in the Nation Prescription Drug Take Back Day coming up on Saturday, April 27, in the parking lot of Smith’s Food and Drug Store, from noon to 2 p.m.

Nye County Sheriff’s Office Evidence Technician Tammy McGill said the event gives local residents the opportunity to bring all of their unneeded and unused prescription drugs for disposal.

The five-year veteran of the sheriff’s office said individuals may also surrender illicit drugs, with no questions asked.

“Residents can also bring in illegal drugs such as crystal meth, heroin and marijuana,” she said. “Anything like that, we can get rid of if they no longer want it or they found it in their son or daughter’s room. They can get rid of it with us and there will be no danger of arrest because they are turning it in to us.”

Flushing is not a solution

Additionally, McGill spoke of the hazards of disposing of drugs down the toilet or dumping them in the trash can.

“The drugs end up seeping into the underground water aquifers, so people shouldn’t flush their drugs down the toilet or throw them in the garbage can,” she said. “But according to the Environmental Protection Agency, you can take the drugs out of the original containers, put them in either cat litter or coffee grounds. You then close it up, seal the container and put them in your trash can. You can also put a little water in it to break down the medications. Again, that’s according to the EPA.”

Take and bake

Once the drugs are taken possession of, McGill said they are eventually destroyed.

“We take the drugs, weigh them, and box them up,” she said. “We have a controlled incinerator which was donated to us by the attorney general’s office and we have a gentleman who volunteers for us, and he also weighs the box, then takes the drugs out of the box, places them in the burner and incinerates them. We received the incinerator about six months ago and we recently did some statistics for the attorney general’s office that show we burned 2,300 pounds of medications within a three-month period. Those drugs otherwise could have probably ended up on the streets or in the landfill, which is not good.”

No can do

Conversely, McGill spoke of drugs and items which the sheriff’s office cannot accept on Saturday.

“We cannot burn EpiPens or anything with mercury, chromium or psyllium,” she said. “We also cannot burn inhalers, liquids, glass, plastic containers, creams or gels. We don’t want the pill bottles either, so we’re going to have the people open their bottles, and pour the drugs into a container.”

For those who cannot make it to the event on Saturday, McGill said there are alternatives to dispose of medications throughout the year.

“They can drop them off in the drug disposal boxes at HealthCare Partners, here at the sheriff’s office in the evidence room and we also have a box at Desert View Hospital,” she said. “You can take them there anytime they are open, and I’m open here in the evidence room lobby Monday through Friday. We would prefer if they would just put the pills or drugs in a Ziploc plastic bag where they can seal it and then deposit them right in the box.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Pahrump community partakes of Photos with Santa

The Salvation Army headquarters in Pahrump was abuzz with activity on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 26, 27 and 28 as members of the Nye County Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace worked to bring some holiday cheer to the valley while also raising much-needed funds to support its nonprofit mission.

Assemblyman Hafen decries state redistricting, files lawsuit

The election of Pahrump’s Nevada State Assembly representative just got a bit more complicated, thanks to the approval of a redistricting proposal by the Legislature last month.

No support from Pahrump committee for Rough Hat Nye solar project

The evening of Tuesday, Nov. 30 was a long one for members of the Pahrump Public Lands Advisory Committee, which convened a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. and did not adjourn until around 9:30 p.m. that night.

Pahrump man facing first-degree arson charge

A Pahrump man is facing a first-degree arson charge after admitting to setting his home on fire.

Local Salvation Army hit by thieves

As Pahrump’s Salvation Army prepares to serve families in need during the holiday season, approximately $500 worth of new toys set aside for its annual Angel Tree program were recently stolen, along with Christmas decorations and items being stored for the Kiwanis Club and Pahrump’s Sleep In Heavenly Peace organization.

Pahrump community comes together for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for appreciation and for hundreds of Pahrump area residents and visitors, there was plenty to be grateful for this year at the Pahrump Holiday Task Force’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

Pahrump Valley Academy virtual town hall set for Saturday

Throughout much of 2019 and into 2020, a group of local residents hoping to add a new educational option to the valley worked diligently toward establishing Pahrump Valley Academy, which would have been the valley’s very first public charter school, only to have the proposal nixed in early 2020.

Rotary Club encouraging students to read

The Pahrump Rotary Club has performed countless community service projects since its inception in 1987.