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2018 National Take Back Day

October 27th was the FDA's National Take Back Day. What successes did you experience while participating in National Take Back Day? What challenges did you experience? If you didn't participate, why not? What barriers are you and your Coalition facing? What questions do you have for those who have successfully participated in a Take Back Day?

aheikkila- Nov 21, 2018 08:16 AM Reply

Our biggest success was that this was the first time our local police department has participated in this event.  New leadership within the Aberdeen Police Department has increased participation in community events as well as collaborations with community partners.  In addition, we had coalition members that participated/volunteered in both the distribution of promotional materials prior to the event and in the event itself.  Coalition members respresented the parent sector as well as one of our youth advocates.  Challenges for us this year was that our police department is located in our downtown area of our city and that day happened to be the same day and time as our local downtown tricking treating event.  We felt that we did not get as many people due to that event.  Other challenges included some folks getting upset or frustrated that we could not accept certain items.   Some of these items included asthma inhalers, unopenend diabetic meds, and cancer meds.  ALthough we appreciated having promotional materials we did not feel that there was enough detail about what is accepted vs. what is not accepted.  In addition, many businesses were not fond of the tag line "Don't Be the Dealer". 

Alicia Hughes- Dec 19, 2018 08:26 PM Reply

That is so exciting April! It's great to hear that new leadership at the police department helped increase participation and engagement around this event. I can definitely see how the Halloween events would interfere with that exact day, and I wonder if you find the April event a better time of year for this. One way to reduce the frustration of items not being accepted is to increase what is accepted/unaccepted on the messaging of the event (flyers, press releases leading up the event, etc.). As Washington moves towards fully implementing the secure medicine take back law, I anticipate the messaging around this improving.

Thanks for sharing your experience!

danicas@co.skag...- Nov 21, 2018 08:20 AM Reply

Mount Vernon HOPE Coalition and the Mount Vernon Police Department co-sponsor this event, and we have experienced great partnership in this regard. This October was the first event where MV HOPE coalition members were actually present on site (as opposed to having a trifold with information and our brochures), and this proved to be a good opportunity to meet with the public and share information about what the coalition does. Another thing that we did this October was provide medication lock boxes to those who needed one; this allowed us to not only discuss the importance of disposing unused medication, but also the importance of securing medications in the home that are currently being used. Lastly, we used the event to promote our Community Survey, capturing a population that we might not have captured otherwise. In total, 99lbs of medication was collected on the 27th! In April 2019, we plan to put more effort into advertising the event--more than just social media and information on the county and MVPD websites. We think April will be fantastic! 

Alicia Hughes- Dec 19, 2018 08:28 PM Reply

Hi Danica! I love hearing that the take-back day efforts were combined with the distribution of the lock boxes to double the message! Also, that's great timing for the Community Survey and to use that as a means to connect with community members - how perfect! Can't wait to hear about your new plans for April. :)

sarahm@spokanet...- Nov 21, 2018 12:18 PM Reply

Wellpinit Community Coalition held its take back day on October 26, 2018 from 10am to 2pm and we secured approximately 5 pounds in our take back box. The barriers we faced were individuals attending the event and actually disposing of their medications. We marketed the event on several different platforms and still didn't have a lot of individuals who brought back medications which was unfortunate. We were able to hand out valuable information regarding opioids, safe storage and proper disposal of them which was helpful to a lot of elders in our community. 

Alicia Hughes- Dec 19, 2018 08:31 PM Reply

Hi Sarah! Thank you for sharing your success and your barrier to the take back event. It's fantastic you were able to use the event to also distribute flyers and information and reach the elder population. I acknowledge the difficulty with getting people to show up, but remember, even five pounds of medicine returned is a huge accomplishment! It just starts with those simple steps to change behavior, and now that some people have participated, they can spread the message to others in your community for the next event. :)

khopstad@co.pac...- Nov 29, 2018 03:05 PM Reply

See our Facebook post here.

Though Road 2 Resiliency is still new to it, South Bend has been participating in the DEA's National Take Back Day for a while now. We made a few changes this year:

  1. We noticed that last year with the higher ICE presence, community members were nervous to approach our table with officers in uniform. So this year we simply asked our on-duty officers to dress in their street clothes as much as possible. This way they could still be present as required by law, but people felt more comfortable approaching them. 
  2. Coalition leadership decided the DEA's "Don't be the Dealer" message was not trauma-informed. So instead we altered the posters to remove the title and keep the other pertinent information (see Facebook post).
  3. We also upgraded our receptacle (see Facebook post). We heard in a recent focus group that "not enough people know about our permanent drop box." So we junked the old cardboard receptacle and created a new one that resembles the permanent drop box located at our courthouse. This way our coalition volunteers could direct anyone to the drop box by saying "it looks just like this but it sits outside the Sherriff's Office."

We are still learning how to best reach our community, but we feel that 13.4lbs is still a success. 

Alicia Hughes- Dec 19, 2018 08:33 PM Reply

Hi Kelsey! Your coalition clearly put a lot of thought into the event - what a great idea about encouraging law enforcement to "dress down" and be more approachable to the general community. You make a great point about the DEA slogan not fitting with your community or goals, so it sounds like you make a great choice in altering the posters and social media. 13.4 pounds is a huge success and you should be very proud of that! Keep up the awesome work.