STONEHAM — Chief James McIntyre is very pleased to report that the Stoneham Police Department, working once again in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), disposed of 189 pounds of unwanted and unneeded prescription medications during National Drug Take Back Day last month.
The prescription medications were collected thorough the police department’s unwanted medication kiosk , located in the lobby of the station. On Oct. 27, the medications were then turned over to the DEA for proper disposal.
“Every dose of unwanted and expired prescription drugs we can remove from circulation during these take-back day events is one fewer chance for them to end up in the wrong hands,” Chief McIntyre said. “I am very pleased with the turnout once again this year, and I want to thank the DEA for their partnership in this great community initiative.”
National Drug Take Back Day is a free and anonymous event coordinated by the DEA and police departments. The event gives the public an opportunity to prevent substance abuse by disposing of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs in their possession. The DEA accepted pills and patches, but does not take liquids, needles, or sharps.
During its 16th Take Back Day on Oct. 27, the DEA, and more than 4,700 law enforcement agencies in all 50 state collected 914,236 pounds (about 457 tons) of unwanted prescription drugs. Nearly 11 million pounds have been collected in total during the 16 semi-annual take-back days.
This initiative addresses a vital public health issue. Easily accessible, unused prescriptions in homes are highly susceptible to abuse and misuse. Studies have shown that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. Residents are advised to avoid disposing of unused medications by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage, as these methods have potential safety and health risks.
Residents who were unable to attend the National Drug Take Back Day can also drop off their prescription drugs at the Stoneham Police Department’s MedReturn kiosk in the police station lobby, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs, visit the DEA Take Back Day website or contact Stoneham Police at 781-438-1215.