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      Hannibal police hold first of two drug take back days

      Drugs collected during Hannibal drug take back day.

      Sgt. Darrin LaPorte with the Hannibal Police Department says that the drug take back days are for the community health and safety.

      "Gives you an opportunity to get rid of those things and dispose of them in a proper way so that they're not flushed down the toilet or stuck down inside of a trash can someplace where somebody else might get a hold of them and abuse them," DeLaPorte said.

      Hannibal Regional Hospital's auxiliary President Nancy Cruse says the auxiliary got involved with the event last year as a part of a state wide focus on abuse.

      "Drug abuse, alcohol abuse, learning what to do for people and what agencies were available," Cruse said. "And then we found out about the drug take back through the police department and decided that would be one of the things we would do. And we did it twice last year, it was a big success, so we decided to go ahead and do it again this year."

      Sgt. De La Porte says that there are two primary dangers from improperly disposing of medications.

      Water contamination is the first.

      "Anything that goes down that toilet, down that sewer system, has to be taken back out before it can be put back out into fresh water systems and so forth," DeLaPorte said. "So either your board of public works or whoever your utilities are have to clean all of that stuff out of there before they put the water back out as clean water."

      Drug abuse is the second.

      "Many of those expired medications are, can be very toxic anyway," DeLaPorte said. " So it's a good idea to get rid of them in a good way."

      "Last year we had several people who came whose spouses had died and had grocery bags full of drugs from the medications that deceased person had taken," Cruse said.

      For Sgt. De La Porte and the Hannibal Police Department the final word on this event is deterrence.

      "Being able to get some of these things off the streets is great. Being able to keep it out of the home, which make it more safe is great. We're all about the safety aspect of making homes more safe, making streets more safe and giving people and opportunity to take care of some of these things. We're very proactive in that area," DeLaPorte explained.

      The official drug take back day will be Saturday, April 26.

      The Hannibal event will be at the County Market Pharmacy near Farm and Home from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

      The Quincy police will also hold a drug take back day on Saturday at the Quincy Mall Police Sub-Post from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.