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Drug Take Back Day Aimed at Preventing Abuse

Published April 15, 2019

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Tri-Town Youth Services (TTYS) will provide the community with a safe, easy way to dispose of expired and unused prescription drugs. The agency is taking part in the National Drug Enforcement Administration Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27.

The program, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at TTYS, 56 High Street in Deep River, aims to provide safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

“The most common place people get opioids to abuse is from their family and friends’ medicine cabinet. Taking your expired or unused prescription medication to the National Drug Take Back Event will get them out of your home and community and prevent them from being stolen or abused by others,” said Tri-Town Youth Services Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Buckley.

Prescription drug abuse has been increasing in the United States and in the state. According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the majority of people who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from family and friends. A National Institute of Drug Abuse study found there were 955 overdose deaths involving opioids in Connecticut in 2017, a rate of 27.7 deaths per 100,000 persons, which is twice the national rate. And, in 2017, Connecticut providers wrote 48 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons.

Last year, the drugs collected filled several large, black trash bags that were then properly disposed of by state police.

“Usually we hold a drug take back event twice a year, but we were unable to hold the event this past October, so we are hoping that we have a lot of people come out to this event in April,” Buckley said.

For those who can’t make it to the event, Troop F State Police barracks in Westbrook also always has a 24-hour, safe medication drop off. The Federal Drug Administration also offers directions for correct disposal of prescription medications at home: First, remove the medicine from its original container and mix it with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter, then place the mixture in a sealable bag. In addition, scratch out all identifying information on the prescription drug labels to protect your identity and the personal health information. Prescription medication that is flushed down the toilet or tossed in the trash can potentially become a safety and health hazards for the environment and residents, so it is suggested that all substances be disregarded in alternative ways.

The Take Back Drug event is free and anonymous; no questions will be asked. For more information, contact Tri-Town Youth Services at 860-526-3600.

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