Drug collection nets 37 pounds of medications

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The Tecumseh Police Department was the site of a medicine take-back program on Saturday, Sept. 29, netting at least 37 pounds of drugs brought in between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The take-back was one of many that took place at police departments across the country as part of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) program. The local event was promoted through a partnership with the newly formed Tecumseh Coalition for Youth, whose mission includes working to decrease substance abuse among youth, and over time, among adults as well.

During such take-back programs, a law enforcement officer must be present. Sgt. Kelley Hissong said that Sgt. Kevin DeCatur was on duty throughout the four hours that the Tecumseh Police Department received the medications.

“It was a combination of prescription drugs and some over the counter medications,” said Hissong. “From the amount that was brought in, I believe it was something that was really needed.”

The Tecumseh Coalition for Youth, facilitated by April Demers with representation by community members, including youths, got behind the event citing that 70 percent of kids who abuse prescription medications get them from family or friends. Providing an option for disposal of expired or unused medications helps families get the medications out of the house — and averting the temptation for someone to misuse them. It also helps the environment, as medications should not be flushed or sent to the landfill.

The Tecumseh Coalition for Youth recently elected new officers which include: Chairperson, Dick Johnson; Vice-Chairperson, Mike McAran; Secretary, Kim Amstutz-Wild; Treasurer, Tom Hawkins; and Youth Chairperson, Nicole Cote.

Other actions planned by the Coalition include exploring the possibility of installing a permanent DEA approved medication disposal bin at the police department. Tecumseh resident Roland Von Kaler is continuing work on fundraising to supply medication safety boxes for community members as well.

The Coalition, which meets monthly, also plans a display at the Appleumpkin Festival, and is preparing a prevention pamphlet. An anonymous donor recently contributed $5,000 to the new Coalition, bringing the group’s financial balance total to $6,000.

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