Cindy Hyde-Smith

United States Senator for Mississippi


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In DeSoto County, U.S. Senator Highlights Public’s Role in “Take Back” Safe Medication Disposal Service
(Photographs available here and
OLIVE BRANCH, MISS. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today encouraged the public to take advantage of safe medication disposal sites as part of an “all-hands-on-deck approach” to fighting the growing opioid epidemic in Mississippi.
Hyde-Smith participated in an event in Olive Branch to highlight an expanded “Take Back” medicine service in DeSoto County, where Walgreens and AmerisourceBergen have partnered to expand their safe medication disposal program.
“The opioid epidemic is a growing problem for Mississippi communities, and our response is going to require an all-hands-on-deck approach,” Hyde-Smith said.  “The private sector and our local leaders are stepping up and doing their part to combat the opioid epidemic.  Mississippians with unused or old prescriptions can also do their part by safely disposing of those drugs at designated sites.”
Hyde-Smith pointed out that unsecured prescription drugs contribute to the opioid crisis in Mississippi, where 3.3 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed last year.
“Every drug we take back and turn in at one of these boxes is another drug out of reach for our children,” Hyde-Smith said.  “Every day, too many youth use prescription drugs to get high for the first time.  Studies show that children obtain many of these drugs from the home medicine cabinets of family and friends.” 
Hyde-Smith was joined in Olive Branch by Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy, Olive Branch Mayor Scott Phillips, Walgreens Director of Pharmacy and Retail Operations Michael Carralero, and other local and law enforcement officials.
Hyde-Smith commended Walgreens and AmerisourceBergen for establishing 11 safe medication disposal sites in Mississippi.  In addition to Olive Branch, there are now disposal sites in Brandon, Byram, Clinton, Columbus, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Jackson, McComb, Oxford, and Tupelo.
The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics also promotes the use of safe drug drop boxes at its offices in Jackson, Greenwood, Batesville, New Albany, Starkville, Meridian, Hattiesburg, Biloxi, and Brookhaven.  In addition, 23 police departments throughout the state also offer drop box service:  
The “Stand Up, Mississippi” website ( offers comprehensive information on a statewide effort to combat the opioid crisis, including treatment, prevention, and educational information.
This week, Hyde-Smith announced federal grants totaling $5.0 million to help 18 community health centers in Mississippi improve opioid abuse treatment.

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