Chief Michael L. Lyle announces that the Melrose Police Department will participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this weekend, and encourages the public to drop off their unused or unwanted prescription medications.
On Saturday, Oct. 22, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., residents can visit the Melrose police station, 56 West Foster St., to dispose of their prescription drugs. The event is run in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and is free of charge, no questions asked. The DEA will accept pills and patches, but cannot take liquids, needles or sharps.
“This is a great opportunity for residents to take a moment and look through their home for any old, unused, or unwanted prescriptions that can be safely disposed of during our take back event,” Chief Lyle said. “We encourage citizens to stop by and participate to help remove potentially dangerous drugs from your homes and our community.”
According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health released last month, 6.4 million Americans, ages 12 and over—2.4 percent of the population—abuse prescription drugs, more than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine combined. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, surpassing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms. The majority of prescription drug abusers report that they obtain their drugs from friends and family, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Last April, during its 11th Take Back Day, the DEA and more than 4,200 of its national, tribal and community law enforcement partners collected 893,498 pounds (about 447 tons) of unwanted prescription drugs at almost 5,400 collection sites. Since the program began six years ago, about 6.4 million pounds (approximately 3,200 tons) of drugs have been collected. That’s more than a quarter pound of pills for each of the 25 million children ages 12 to 17, in America.
Residents can also drop off their prescription drugs at the Melrose Police Department’s collection kiosk, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the station’s lobby.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Oct. 22 Drug Take Back Day, visit the DEA Office of Diversion Control site or contact the Melrose Police Department at 781-665-1212.