423 Pounds of Prescription Drugs Turned In at Drop Off
Author: Justin Mckibben
Since September of 2010 the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has worked with community leaders in every state to some extent to support National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
September 26 of this year was another annual observance of this new tradition, and according to the most recent reports it would appear that once again the events hosted all over America were a huge success as thousands of DEA-coordinated prescription drug collection sites were available to the public, and again citizens were encouraged to use this special opportunity to safely and legally dispose of any unneeded and/or expired medications.
No surprise here that it saw a massive amount of community involved in the Gloucester area, where there has been repeated stories of innovative forms of intervention. Yet again this town is making headlines for the amazing success they have made organizing the efforts to overcome addiction.
It All Adds Up
This year for the 2015 National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day nearly 100 people safely disposed of 423 pounds of unused prescription drugs! All this was collected at a single event site held recently at the Rose Baker Senior Center, and goes to show how important it is that we as a community work together to educate each other about these things.
Imagine, if 423 pounds of prescription drugs were tossed out to the streets for dealers and addicts to abuse instead of being collected and disposed of. What would an extra 432 pounds of prescription drugs do to your neighborhood?
At the end of the day it all adds up to one huge chunk being bitten out of the issue.
As of last year disposal sites had gotten rid of at least 4.1 million pounds (2,123 tons) of unwanted medication during previous DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days!
This event for the prescription drug take-back observation was hosted by 3 primary elements, but they are not the only heroes in this community this week.
- Healthy Gloucester Collaborative (HGC)
The nonprofit Healthy Gloucester Collaborative and its partners organized its first drug disposal event in 2008, one of the first of its kind in the state of Massachusetts.
- Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
In 2010, HGC at the request of the DEA regional representative trained other area communities to set up proper drug disposal programs in their towns.
- Gloucester Police Department
The collective efforts also made sure to offer a prescription drug drop box at the Gloucester Police Station, where disposal of unwanted drugs is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Support for the prescription drug drop-off events also came from several other entities, including:
- Interim Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken
- Gloucester City Council
- Conley’s Drug Store
- Addison Gilbert Hospital
- Council on Aging and local business leaders
- Volunteers from the Healthy Gloucester Collaborative Youth Council
- Volunteers from TRIAD
Leaders all across the board stepped forward to deliver a resource for improving the conditions of the community, and again I say that should come as no shock given the standard Gloucester Police Department has already set with its revolutionary programs for assisting addicts into recovery. This is one area that has inspired change by setting a strong example of a community united to help those suffering.
The director of the collaborative, Joan Whitney, stated:
“Proper drug disposal is something we can all do. It reduces access to unused prescription drugs which when misused can be lethal. This is a way for us as a community to come together and take action to prevent further access and, as a result, drug abuse.”
“We are grateful to all who supported this event and actively participated in its success, a true testament to the city’s commitment to combating drug abuse while offering resources and help,”
Addiction is a deadly disease that affects not just the individual, but family, friends and so many others. It is important communities act together and raise awareness to prevent the spread of prescription pill abuse.
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