To help reduce drug misuse, local partners promote responsible drug disposal
Vermont Business Magazine In an effort to reduce prescription drug misuse and related overdose deaths, community partners will team up with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and with assistance from the St Johnsbury Police Department and the Caledonia Sheriff, to host a Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. – 2 pm on April 24 at two local sites: the Caledonia County Sheriff Department (970 Memorial Dr., St Johnsbury) and the St Johnsbury Police Department (1187 Main St #1, St Johnsbury). Thsi is part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. See more details below.
To keep everyone safe, collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.
Take-Back Day provides a free, safe and convenient way to dispose of prescription drugs. Individuals may anonymously and safely drop off any unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medication, as well as pet medication, at the abovementioned locations. Sites cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches.
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 United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
“Drug Take-Back day provides a free and anonymous, no-questions-asked opportunity to dispose of unused and expired prescription drugs,” NVRH Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator Christina Plazek said. “Please, join us in making our community a safer place for everyone.”
At its last Take Back Day in October, the DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unwanted and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs. Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, the DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs. With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.
In addition to this event, there are permanent drug take-back boxes available year-round for people to dispose of unused prescription drugs at the following locations:
Caledonia County Sheriff’s Department – Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Essex County Sheriff’s Department – Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Lyndonville Police Department – Tuesday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; by appointment
NVRH Emergency Room – 24/7
St. Johnsbury Police Department – 24/7
Individuals may also use drug mail-back envelopes, available through the Vermont Department of Health, to responsibly dispose of medications. Illegal drugs, cosmetics, vitamins/supplements, thermometers, aerosol cans, inhalers, needles and lotions/liquids are not accepted at the prescription take-back box locations.
DEA New England Announces 20th Take Back Day
BOSTON – This weekend the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will once again conduct one of its most popular community programs: National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. On Saturday April 24 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the public can dispose of their expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications at 565 collection sites throughout New England, operated by local law enforcement agencies and other community partners. The service is free of charge, no questions asked and most of these collection sites can be found in the lobby of your local Police Department. To find a collection site near you and learn more about the event go to www.deatakeback.com, or by calling 800-882-9539.
Last October during the 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day the New England Field Division and its partners, over the course of four hours, collected a record 115,944.24 pounds or over 57 tons of expired, unused, unwanted prescription drugs, electronic vaping devices and cartridges at collection sites throughout New England.
“DEA has touched a nerve in America with its recent Take back events, as evidenced by the millions of pounds of pills collected during our previous 19 events,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “These events are only made possible through the dedicated work and commitment of our local, state, and federal partners, and DEA thanks each and every one of them for their continuous efforts on behalf of the American people.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 87,200 Americans dying as a result of a drug overdose in a one-year period (Sept. 1, 2019 to Sept. 1, 2020), the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, accelerating significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
The public can drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at collection sites which will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.
DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop off locations provided lithium batteries are removed.
Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 24 Take-Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com or contact Christina Plazek NVRH Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator at email@example.com. or 802-748-7551.
Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital is located in St. Johnsbury in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. We are a community, not-for-profit, acute care, critical access hospital. NVRH is one of two Vermont hospitals designated as a Baby FriendlyTM hospital by the United Nations. The organization provides primary and preventive care, surgical and specialty services, inpatient and outpatient care and 24-hour, physician-staffed emergency services. NVRH serves more than 30,000 people in the Caledonia and Southern Essex Counties in Vermont and employs 600.