Town and Village

Safely dispose of prescription medication

Windham County participates in Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 28

Saturday, Oct. 28 is the federal Drug Enforcement Agency's National Drug Take Back Day, and the Windham County Prevention Partnership is using this event to raise awareness about proper storage and disposal of prescription medications.

This initiative gives communities the opportunity to prevent prescription drug abuse and theft by ridding homes of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Simply collect your expired or unused prescription pills or patches in their original bottle or place them in a disposable bag. Be sure to remove or cover your personal information. Then, you may anonymously drop your medication at the nearest prescription drug drop box.

Keep in mind that the DEA cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps - only pills or patches.

According to organizers, Drug Take Back Day "addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that are left in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse."

"Rates of prescription drug misuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs," according to the DEA.

"Additionally, simply throwing unused medicines in the trash or flushing them down the toilet risks environmental harm, theft, and poses a public health hazard."

As a result, "it is so important to come together as a community and do our part to help raise awareness and take this issue head on. We are so grateful for the support we've seen for this event," Elisha Underwood, the executive director of West River Valley Thrives in Townshend, said in a news release.

Bring your medications for disposal to any of the following locations:

• Messenger Valley Pharmacy, 170 Grafton Rd., Townshend.

• Brattleboro Police Department, 62 Black Mountain Rd.

• Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, 17 Belmont Ave.

• Bellows Falls Police Department, 170 Rockingham St.

• Wilmington Police Department, 2 East Main St.

• Dover Police Department, 245 VT 100.

All locations have permanent drop boxes in their respective lobbies, and boxes are available for pill disposal during open lobby hours, no questions asked.

Event organizers caution that these locations may have fluctuating hours and urge those wanting to participate to call ahead to confirm their hours.

If you are unable to make it to a physical drop box and would like a postage-paid bag to dispose of your unwanted prescription via mail in a medication-safe envelope, you can request an envelope from the Vermont Department of Health.

This Town and Village item was submitted to The Commons.

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