Medicines in the home are a leading cause of accidental poisoning. Just as disturbing are the alarmingly high rates of prescription drug abuse among teens.
A national study, conducted last year by The Partnership at DrugFree.org and the MetLife Foundation, found that nearly half (49 percent) of teens who misuse or abuse prescription medicines get them from a family member or friend. More often than not, these drugs are found in medicine cabinets.
This year’s US Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Take-Back Day will be conducted on Saturday, April 26. These events allow the public to prevent pill abuse and the theft of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
Newtown police in cooperation with the DEA will accept from the public for proper disposal unwanted prescription drugs at a collection event scheduled for Saturday, April 26. The event will run from 10 am to 2 pm at the police station at 3 Main Street.
The April 26 collection event is intended to publicize the need for proper prescription drug disposal. The drug disposal service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked, police said.
Besides the collection event, Newtown police have positioned inside their lobby a permanent receptable for proper prescription drug disposal, which is available for public use around the clock, seven days a week.
Additional April 26 Collection Sites
Area collections will also take place from 10 am to 2 pm at Bethel Police Department, 49 Plumtrees Road; and Redding Police Department at 96 Hill Road.
“This program is a safe and convenient alternative to flushing prescription drugs down the toilet and prevents dangerous misuse,” said Representative Dan Carter, a former member of the Public Health Committee who represents several neighborhoods in western Newtown.
Reports indicate that 20 percent of teens intentionally misuse someone else’s prescription drugs to get high, and many obtain the drugs from raiding the medicine cabinets of friends and relatives.
In other cases children, babies, and pets have gotten into prescriptions that that have caused long-term health problems and even death.
According to Mr Carter, the improper disposal of pharmaceuticals has also been reported to negatively impact the environment and public health, as some drugs cannot be safely flushed or poured down drains because wastewater facilities are not designed to remove them.
Through that “disposal,” some of those drugs then find their way into lakes, rivers, and streams and into drinking water.
Note that only prescription medications will be accepted at the collections — needles and syringes will not be accepted.
New Milford Hospital, in partnership with New Milford/CTRIAD, New Milford Police Department and New Milford Substance Abuse Prevention Council, is also co-sponsoring a free community Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 26. From 10 am until 1 pm, the public is invited to visit the parking lot of the hospital, at 18 Elm Street, to dispose of unused or expired prescriptions and over the counter medications.
Items should be in their original containers and can include pills, capsules, tablets, topical creams, cough and cold products, aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, metered dose inhalers, thyroid hormones and naproxen.
Visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov for additional information.