The following is a press release from Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Outreach
Windsor County residents turned out in large numbers to support the most recent DEA-led National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, purging 259 pounds of drugs from their medicine chests and nightstands.
On April 26, unwanted or expired prescription drugs were collected at police departments, transfer stations and other community centers throughout the county to ensure safe and proper disposal. Springfield Police Department topped the charts with 102 pounds collected; Hartford Police Department was a close second at 47.5 pounds.
“We thank everyone who participated in the program and utilized the sites to get rid of their prescription drugs.” said Windsor County Sheriff Mike Chamberlain “We also attribute a lot of the success to the full time collection sites now spread across the county,” he added. The permanent drop-boxes in Springfield, Chester, Windsor, Woodstock, Hartford, Royalton, and Ludlow are free to use year-round.
Windsor County’s 10 collection sites yielded the following quantities on Take-Back Day, April 26: Hartford Police Department, 47.5 pounds; Rochester Constable Office, 4 pounds; Royalton Police Department, 21 pounds; Weathersfield Transfer Station, 5 pounds; Chester Police Department, 10 pounds; Ludlow Police Department, 8.5 pounds; Woodstock Police Department, 27 pounds; Windsor Police Department, 43.5 pounds; and Springfield Police Department, 102 pounds, for a total of 259 pounds. Statewide, 3,341 pounds of drugs were collected at 59 sites.
Since the Drug Enforcement Agency’s first event in September 2010, the public has surrendered over 3.4 million pounds of pills nationwide.
Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, theft, misuse, and abuse. Almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. And more Americans died in 2010 from overdoses of prescription medications (22,134, including 16,651 from narcotic painkillers) than from motor vehicle accidents, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Surveys of users have found that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications.
Expansion of permanent drug collection units across Windsor County has been made possible by funding through the Windsor County Partnership for Success (WC-PFS) Initiative. The WC-PFS is a partnership with law enforcement, prevention, and community partners to reduce underage drinking, binge drinking, and prescription drug abuse for the 12-25 aged population.