Twice a year, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, along with law enforcement agencies in all 50 states and in U.S. territories, including the Sandy Springs Police Department, host te National Take – Back Day.

At this event, we collect, with no questions asked, expired, unused, unwanted or unlabeled prescription or over the counter (OTC) medications.

The next Take Back will take place on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10  a.m. until 2 p.m.  Our collection site will be in front of the Sandy Springs Police Department, 7840 Roswell Rd, Suite 301,  in the Morgan Falls Business Park, just south of the QT.

The last DEA National Take Back Day was on April 28.   It collected a record 552,161 pounds from over 5,600 take-back sites.

By collecting these drugs and properly disposing of them, we are keeping this stuff out of the garbage and medicine cabinets and out of the hands of kids and pets.

A very interesting point I read is that trace elements of these medications are being found in our water supply because of people flushing them down their toilets.  Also, when we throw these medications in the garbage, they end up in a dump and slowly, over time, they find their way back into our water supply.

So, what happens to all the stuff we collect once 2:01 p.m. arrives on Sept. 29?

We seal up the boxes that the DEA provided for us.  We weigh the boxes and a DEA representative will come by to get the weigh in numbers and then takes the boxes to their Atlanta Office.  Soon afterwards, the boxes of pharmaceuticals are incinerated.

To find a local collection site near you, you can call 1-800-882-9539 or go to

I will be working at the Sandy Springs Police Take-Back location, so please come by and say hi.

Officer Larry Jacobs is the Crime Prevention Officer for the Sandy Springs Police Department.  He can be reach directly at

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.