AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Police departments and drug enforcement agencies held a series of prescription drug take back programs Saturday across western Massachusetts.
With all the rain on Saturday, it was a great day to do some spring cleaning, inside your home and your medicine cabinet.
Kathleen Brown, Springfield police community liaison, told 22News, “You would be surprised by the number of people who get addicted because their mothers, fathers, sisters, or brothers are taking pills and they do not know they are missing.”
In honor of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Kathleen Brown organized a drop off location at Central High School for residents to drop off expired or unwanted prescription pills. She says the hope is to help put a stop to prescription drug abuse.
The prescription drug take back program has been going on in western Massachusetts for the past three years. So far police and the DEA have collected over 25,000 pounds of unwanted or expired prescription drugs.
22News spoke to Springfield residents who say they take the extra time to drop them off instead of throwing them out, to ensure safety for their family members.
“This is the safe way to do it. I know kids won’t get a hold of them this way, I won’t put them in the trash, kids can go through the trash,” said Jim McCarthy of Springfield.
Joseph Karas of the Springfield Drug Enforcement Agency says it’s not just about safety for people, but for the environment as well, “If they’re just flushed down the toilet they’ll go into the water table, into the sewer system, and it can contaminate the water that we drink”
Also, it can contaminate the water in our reservoirs that’s commonly used by wildlife. There was ten other drop off locations across western Massachusetts on Saturday. They included one seen here in Agawam, as well as another in Chicopee.