On September 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Everett Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its ninth opportunity in four years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to the Everett Police Department Lobby OR the Rite Aid Drug Store in Everett Square. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last April, Americans turned in 390 tons (over 780,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,400 of its state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its eight previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in over 4.1 million pounds—more than 2,100 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. 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.
Everett Police Chief Steven A. Mazzie stated “I strongly encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to rid their homes of unwanted, unneeded prescription drugs. A first step in drug addiction is often these prescription drugs and here is a way for parents to remove this potential from their homes.”
“Prescription drug abuse continues to be the nation’s fastest growing drug problem,” states Mayor DeMaria, “This event is highly successful and worth while because it helps to eliminate a major source of abused prescription drugs and reduces the hazards they pose to our families.” Last year the Everett Police collected over 230 pounds of unwanted medicines.