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Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Drug take back program reaches major milestone

By Nathan L. Hanks Jr. | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | November 14, 2014

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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s “Got Drugs” drug take back program was deemed a success by installation and substance abuse officials.

According to the officials, nearly 120 pounds of medication were received during the program, which was Oct. 22-31.

“I’m ecstatic about the results,” Kim Cleveland, program manager, Substance Abuse Counseling Center, Marine and Family Programs, MCLB Albany, said. “It is amazing what our MCLB Albany community can do when we work together.  We are so motivated by this year’s numbers that we have already started discussing our plans for next year.

“In 2013, we received around 25 pounds of medication,” she added.

According to Cleveland, the purpose of the program is to dispose of medication, prescription and over the counter medications responsibly.

“Too often medications are flushed into the water supply, dumped in landfills or get into the hands of children,” Cleveland said. “Prescription medication and some over the counter medications are being abused by our children in alarming numbers so we are also trying to remind everyone to keep their medications properly secured.”

Cleveland noted “her goal is that the effort will continue to grow larger each year which, in turn, will help make our community a better place for our children and future generations to enjoy.”

Agent Kevin P. Casey, chief, Criminal Investigation Division, MCLB Albany, said the program is supporting the Drug Enforcement Administration initiative to remove old and expired prescription pills from family’s medicine cabinets.  

“The “Got Drugs” drug take back program initiative aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the work force aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany about the potential for abuse of prescription medications,” Casey said.

According to Cleveland, the program coincided with the annual 2014 Red Ribbon Week themed “Love Yourself. Be Drug Free,” which was Oct. 23-31. 

Assisting in collecting medication and providing security were Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Gulley, master of arms, and Seaman Wesley Balentine, assistant master of arms, both with Naval Branch Health Clinic, who volunteered to support the program.

Drop off points were located at various places around the base to make it convenient for everyone to participate. 

 “Medications collected included Oxycodone, cholesterol, high blood pressure, muscle relaxers, antibiotics and expired pet medications,” Gulley said. 

The program and the efforts of the volunteers does have an impact on the potential misuse of prescription drugs, Casey said. 

“Often it is children who are found to be in possession of inappropriately or illegally obtained prescription drugs from their parent’s old and expired medications,” he added. “Removing those expired or unused drugs will remove the potential for their misuse and protect our children.”

According to Casey, the pills, which were stored at CID, will be turned over to Naval Criminal Investigation Service who will then deliver them to Drug Enforcement Administration or their designated entity for destruction.

For more information, call the Substance Counseling Center at 229-639-7941.


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