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Chickasaw Take Back Program Offers Safe Way to Dispose of Medication

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The Chickasaw Nation's Take Back Program offers a new solution for disposing of unused or expired medications that will help reduce drug abuse and accidental poisonings and improve water quality by discouraging people from dumping old medications down the drain.

Chickasaw tribal members with expired or unused medications can now drop them into containers located in the annex of the Garvin County Courthouse in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, or the lobby of the Pauls Valley Police Department, located at 400 West Paul, reported the Pauls Valley Democrat. The idea is for the public to have easy access to drop-off their unused or expired medications.

The program was created specifically with senior citizens in mind, George Jesse, assistant police chief of the Chickasaw Nation Lighthorse Police Department, told the PaulsValley Democrat. “We felt it was needed because of the elders in the Chickasaw Nation area,” Jesse said. “Our focus was the elders."

The tribal police department also aims to develop a stronger relationship with outside law enforcement agencies. Two local agencies are working with the Lighthorse Police to establish sites where all legal medications can be dropped off and safely disposed in a "Take Back box" on a regular basis. “It also gave us another avenue to reach out to other law enforcement agencies; that we’re there to help them and work with them,” Jesse told the Pauls Valley Democrat.

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The Lighthorse acquired a grant through the State of Oklahoma's Bureau of Narcotics to pays for the containers and safe disposal of the medications, reported the Pauls Valley Democrat.

“It’s the best way if you want to get rid of those medications safely,” he told the newspaper, adding there are around a dozen containers now at senior citizen centers in the Chickasaw Nation area, along with some at various police stations.