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Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Combats Prescription Drug Abuse

The department joined with AARP Minnesota to man a booth at the 2012 Minnesota State Fair Thursday.

In the state fair’s education building Thursday afternoon, Kathleen Harth, volunteer with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, was luring in passersby with six mason jars and a question.

“What needs to be done to protect Social Security and Medicare?” she’d ask fair-goers, handing them hard kernels of corn.

The jar marked “More Private Sector/Less Government Involvement” held the most kernels. But Harth, a Brooklyn Center resident, said her personal kernels were reserved for the “Leave Them As Is” and “Work Harder to Eliminate Fraud” jars.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s office was partnering with AARP Minnesota at the fair in an effort to spread information about locations—in Spring Park, Brooklyn Park and Minneapolis—where seniors can drop off prescription medications they don’t need to prevent abuse and theft.

Harth has been volunteering with the sheriff’s office for a year-and-a-half, since she took a class offered for citizens.

“I’ve learned a lot,” she said.

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