CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) Since 2011, more than 7 tons of unwanted and outdated prescription drugs have been taken off the streets in the Hampshire and Franklin counties and this weekend, you can get rid of yours. Chris Geffin and David Sullivan from the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office told us how to get involved.
Perscription Drug Take-back Day
Saturday, September 27th
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Drop-off locations in Hampshire & Franklin counties
- Prescription drugs are the number one choice among 12-13 year olds
70 percent of people 12 and older who abuse prescription drugs get the from family and friends — with or without their knowledge
- More Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those abusing cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined, according to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Abuse.
- Prescription drug abusers are turning to heroin, which is less expensive and easy to obtain. The heroin epidemic, once thought of as an urban phenomenon, has overtaken the Northwestern District of Hampshire and Franklin counties and the town of Athol.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, prescription drugs, including opioids and antidepressants, are still responsible for more overdose deaths than “street drugs.” And yet, two in five teens believe that prescription drugs are “much safer” than street drugs, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Three in 10 teens believe that prescription pain relievers are not addictive. Some 60 percent of teens who abused prescription pain relievers did so before the age of 15.
- Keeping prescription drugs out of the hands of children and teenagers is one of the most important objectives of National Prescription Drug Day, as is raising awareness of this growing public health crisis and ensuring the safety of our elder population. Helping elders clean out their medicine cabinets can help prevent accidental overdoses and the misappropriation of prescription drugs by personal care assistants or loved ones.
- Another objective of Take Back Day is keeping harmful chemicals out of the environment. Unwanted and out-of-date drugs cannot be simply thrown in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. Pharmaceuticals are already present in some of the nation’s water bodies, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The long-term consequences remain to be seen.