People can drop off expired, unused and unwanted medications during the sixth nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked. The goal is to rid homes of medications that can be abused or stolen.
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with assistance from community, public health and law enforcement partners, such as municipal police departments.
About 60 communities in Connecticut will have drop-off sites. Nearby locations are in Orange, Milford, Oxford, Newtown and Bridgeport (drop-off sites are open to people from all towns). The public can learn the specifics on the collection sites by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon, and following the links to a database where they enter their zip code.
Collected drugs to be destroyed
Once the potentially dangerous prescription drugs are collected, they will be destroyed by the DEA. People should not bring illegal drugs to the collection sites to be destroyed.
“Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem in New England and throughout our nation,” said John J. Arvanitis, special agent in charge of the DEA for New England. “The abuse of these drugs damages our families and communities.
“This Take-Back Day,” Arvanitis continued, “is an opportunity for everyone to remove these potentially dangerous prescriptions from their homes, thus diminishing the temptation of illicit use, potential theft and resale of these drugs.”
Source of prescription drug abuse
According to press release on the initiative, the initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — can pose potential safety and health hazards.
During the last Take-Back Day in September 2012, the DEA’s New England Field Division collected 38,694 pounds of prescription medications. There were 539 return sites and 503 participating agencies in the six New England states.