Prescription Drug Take-back Day set for Saturday

Mayor Scott Avedisian and Colonel Stephen McCartney are encouraging residents who have expired and/or unwanted prescription medications to take advantage of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday, April 27. The Warwick Police Department will join more than two dozen other law enforcement agencies throughout the state for this initiative. 

Residents are encouraged to bring prescription drugs to Police headquarters, 99 Veterans Memorial Drive in Apponaug, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Officers will ensure that the medications are disposed of properly.  

National studies show that more than half of individuals age 12 and older who abuse prescription drugs got them for free from a family member or friend. According to the DEA, the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that more than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs. The survey also found that more than 70 percent of those abusing prescriptions got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that “includes raiding the family medicine cabinet,” according to the DEA. 

Improper disposal of prescription drugs can also impact the environment.  These compounds have been found in waterways across the country, raising concerns about potential risks and effects on water quality and organisms that live in the water. One should never flush old prescriptions down the drain.

The department participated in both national Take-Back Days last year. Last year’s events, in April and September, resulted in a record amount of drugs collected in Rhode Island. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration division, during last September’s event, 488,395 pounds (244 tons) of unwanted or expired medications were collected for safe and proper disposal at the 5,263 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. All told, over 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of unwanted medications have been collected during the five take-back days combined. 

For more information about the program please call the Warwick Police Department at 468-4200 or visit the DEA website at deadiversion.usdoj.gov.