CHICOPEE Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts joined the rest of the state in drug take back day Saturday, in an effort to properly throw out medicine, before it got in the wrong hands.
It took just seconds for a burden on residents, and their communities, to be lifted.
Massachusetts Drug Take Back Day gave people the chance to properly dispose of unwanted medicine that tends to collect in cabinets.
Patty Guilmette told 22News, “For a couple of years. I just didn’t know how to get rid of them. I just didn’t want to get rid of them haphazardly and I saw this well you can get rid of them safely. I was like Okay, these are the people who can do it.”
Chicopee Police Station was one of many community drop off locations accepting old pills and patches, preventing them from getting in the wrong hands, or contaminating soil or water.
Local collection areas in Hampden County, like Chicopee Police Department, then dropped off all their boxes in Springfield. At the end of the day, the boxes will all be brought to a facility in Agawam to be burned.
Drug Enforcement Agents have noticed an increase of drugs collected in the past two years, but in that time, there’s also been an increase in the number of opioid overdoses deaths.
Extra prescription drugs are highly coveted by opioid addicts.
Joseph Benson said, “All the medicines we’re collecting are medicines that aren’t needed for medicinal purposes anymore, so it’s important that they don’t get in the hands of people who weren’t subscribed them.”
They informed the public through social media, posters and phone calls.
Mamie Kirby told 22News, “At the community meeting they tell us about it and usually I’m working…Today I had off and I said oh let me get all this junk that I don’t take anymore. Take it up there.”
The DEA said since Hampden County’s first drug take back day in 2010, 5.5 tons of drugs have been collected for safe removal.