Saturday is chance for public to get rid of unwanted, expired prescription drugs

The eighth nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will take place at locations in the region on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Coordinated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the event is an opportunity for the public to discard of potentially dangerous prescription drugs that are expired, unused or unwanted. The drugs will be collected and then properly destroyed by authorities.

Only pills and other solids, like patches, can be brought to the collection sites — liquids and needles or other sharps will not be accepted. The prescription drugs are collected on an anonymous, no-questions-asked basis.

Nearby collection sites

Three nearby drop-off sites for Shelton residents are:

— Monroe Senior Center, 275 Cutlers Farm Road, Monroe (coordinated by Monroe Police Department).

— Orange CVS, 279 Post Road, Orange (coordinated by Orange Police Department).

— Stratford Police Department lobby, 900 Longbrook Ave., Stratford (coordinated by Stratford Police Department).

The public can check for other nearby collection sites by going to and clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon.

Lead to abuse, accidental deaths, theft

Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, theft, misuse, and abuse.

Almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

And more Americans died in 2010 from overdoses of prescription medications (22,134) than from motor vehicle accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Surveys of users have found that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

Many tons of drugs collected

During the most recent Prescription Drug Take-Back Day last October. Americans turned in 324 tons (more than 647,000 pounds) of prescription drugs. Since DEA’s first event in September 2010, the public has surrendered over 3.4 million pounds of pills.

“The national DEA-initiated Prescription Drug Take Back Day has been successful in removing tons of unwanted and unneeded medications from people’s homes, including highly addictive opioids,” said the DEA’s John J. Arvanitis.

“Getting these potentially deadly unwanted prescription drugs collected and disposed of properly would not be possible without the continued commitment and dedication of our state and local law enforcement partners,” Arvanitis said.