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“Take Back Prescription Drugs” Day
REGION -- The local police departments of Rumford, Mexico and Dixfield, along with the Oxford County Sheriff's Department, will be participating in National “Take Back Prescription Drugs” Day to help people dispose of prescription drugs in a proper and safe way for one day only on Saturday, April 30.
This will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
According to Rumford Police Chief Stacy Carter, “Prescription drugs getting into the wrong hands is a real problem. We need to get as much of them turned in as possible during this one day.”
Citizens are urged to either remove the labels from the bottles, as the bottles are recycled. If you cannot remove the label, please black out your name for the purpose of confidentiality. For your safety, be sure to place the bottles in a non-descript bag for transportation.
Pills and liquids both will be accepted, but please do not bring your hypodermic needles, as these will not be accepted at collection sites. There will be two law enforcement officers on duty to dispose of your medications.
Collection in Rumford will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the police department on River Street and Hannaford Supermarket on Waldo Street.
Collections will take place in Mexico with police officers present in the conference room upstairs at the town office from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dixfield will collect from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the police department and the town office.
At the end of the collection, agents from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency will gather drugs from throughout the state and dispose of them.
Last September, Americans turned in 242,000 pounds (121 tons) of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,000 state and local law enforcement partners. 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.
Four days after last fall’s event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.
DEA has begun drafting regulations to implement the Act, a process that can take as long as 24 months. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.