Prescription Drugs Can Be Dropped off Saturday in Greater New Haven

By Ortiz, Juliemar | New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), October 18, 2016 | Go to article overview

Prescription Drugs Can Be Dropped off Saturday in Greater New Haven


Ortiz, Juliemar, New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)


In an effort to tackle prescription drug abuse, police departments across Greater New Haven will be setting up drop-off locations Saturday where residents can safely dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs as part of the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Drug Take Back Day.

New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman said the initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.

"Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet," Hartman said in a press release.

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse, according to Milford police Officer Joseph Dempsey.

"In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines -- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash -- both pose potential safety and health hazards," Dempsey said.

Pills or patches can be dropped off at designated locations, no questions asked. Liquids, needles or sharps are not accepted.

This will be the 12th time the DEA has held the nationl event in six years, with the goal being to prevent pill abuse and theft by collecting and safely and securely destroying unwanted medications. Last April, Americans turned in more than 893,000 pounds of prescription drugs, and more than 6.4 million pounds in the past six years.

In Guilford, state Rep. Sean Scanlon, D-Guilford, and American Idol winner Nick Fradiani are urging residents to clean out their medicine cabinets and take part in the national effort.

"Connecticut, like all states, is in the midst of a public health crisis when it comes to prescription drug and heroin addiction and more people will die from overdoses in our state this year than from car accidents," Scanlon said in a news release.

In 2015, Scanlon sponsored a take-back day that collected more than 60 pounds of drugs in just two hours.

"A woman came in with a huge box and as she was putting the old pill bottles into the bin she would say, 'This was my son's soccer injury,' or, 'This was my daughter's wisdom teeth surgery,' and I said to her, 'Oh, what year are your kids at (Guilford High School)? …

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