Narconon New Life Retreat Takes Part in Prescription Take Back Day

prescription bottles

As we moved into the final days of September this year, nearly 4,000 law enforcement agencies around the United States were getting ready. It wasn’t for any type of anticipated spike in crime rates, for training or any of the other usual situations that we expect to see the police preparing for. Instead, thousands upon thousands of law enforcement officers were finalizing their plans for taking part in the Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on the 27th of September, an event sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The event on the 27th followed in the wake of another earlier in April of this year, and it was the ninth time that the DEA has sponsored such an event since 2010. In addition to the large numbers of law enforcement agencies preparing to take part in the drug take-back day, a variety of community groups and other organizations were also doing what they could to support the purpose of the event and to make it as effective as possible in reducing the widespread availability of potentially dangerous pharmaceutical medications in the United States.

One group that was actively supporting the DEA and its partner law enforcement agencies in preparations for this September’s drug take-back day was the Narconon New Life Retreat. Located in the town of Denham Springs, near the Louisiana state capital of Baton Rouge, the New Life Retreat is one of the leading drug rehab centers in the region. Staff and volunteers associated with the center regularly take part in activities aimed at improving the community and reducing the rates of substance abuse and addiction and the problems associated with these.

Take Back Day Support

Their support of the recent take-back day saw them hitting the streets to pass out fliers with details about the upcoming event and also taking the time to speak with people they met about what was going on. Doubtlessly, some of the people they spoke with had unused pills sitting in their own medicine cabinet, while others knew someone in this situation. It’s one thing to hear about an upcoming community event on the radio or TV, but another thing entirely to hear about it from someone speaking with you face to face and taking the time to make sure that you and your loved ones are safe. It was the goal of the Narconon New Life Retreat to help drum up awareness of the take-back day and get as good a turnout as possible for the event.

kid taking drugs from a medicine cabinet

The DEA’s drug take-back events have been a considerable success over the years. Since the original event in 2010, the DEA estimates that more than 4.1 million pounds of drugs have been safely disposed of, including more than 780,000 in April alone. These numbers represent drugs that can no longer be found in a medicine cabinet or bedside table by someone who is looking for a way to get high or to get the next fix to fuel an addiction.

Don’t think that it’s enough to simply throw the drugs out; addicts know where to look, and pills in the trash can still end up in the wrong hands. Some think that they can safely flush the drugs to keep them away from addicts, but in some ways this is an even worse solution because the drugs can then enter the water supply, being difficult to remove. The take-back events have offered the safer alternative of providing secure drop boxes to receive the drugs and the assurance that the police will then be destroying the drugs.

That program has been so successful, in fact, that the DEA has recently expanded it from a semi-annual event to a year-round program in which certain pharmacies, hospitals, rehab centers and others may now have their own drop boxes, opening the door for more people to get rid of their unused pills. The success of this program can be attributed in no small part to the support of staff and volunteers such as those who offered the help of the Narconon New Life Retreat for the cause of making everyone in the area aware of the availability of the drop-offs.


Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.