Each fall, as part of a national Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) event, cities all over the country — like Shawnee — are gearing up for National Drug Take Back Day.

Each fall, as part of a national Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) event, cities all over the country — like Shawnee — are gearing up for National Drug Take Back Day. For the past several years the event has taken place twice a year — each spring and fall — making this week's roundup number 14.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Shawnee Senior Center, 401 N. Bell, unused or expired medications can be dropped off for safe disposal. The senior center began participating in the joint effort in the Fall of 2015.

The event is hosted by The Pottawatomie Alliance Toward Community Health Coalition (PATCH) in partnership with the City of Shawnee Police Department, and Gateway to Prevention and Recovery, Inc.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website epa.gov, drug disposal guidelines state, “Don’t flush expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs down the toilet or drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so.”

In cities where residences are connected to wastewater treatment plants, drugs poured down the sink or flushed can pass through the treatment system and enter rivers and lakes. … Water treatment plants are generally not equipped to routinely remove medicines, the site said.

The EPA said the first choice is to take advantage of drug take-back events.

A factor identified as influencing the non-medical use of Rx drugs in the county was easy access to prescription drugs.

In the late 1990s, the most common cause of overdose deaths became prescription drugs, and four out of five unintentional poisoning deaths involve at least one prescription drug, according to poison.health.ok.gov.

For more information, call (405) 275-3391.