Drug Take Back Day

National Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, Oct. 27

National Drug Take Back Day is back. On Saturday, Oct 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., area residents can bring their unwanted drugs to 17 locations in Hampshire and Franklin counties for sound disposal. Since 2011, more than 47,000 pounds  have been collected in the Northwestern District during Take Back days and from permanent collection boxes.

Participating communities on Oct. 27 include Amherst, Belchertown, Cummington, Easthampton, Goshen, Hadley, Northampton, Pelham, Southampton, South Hadley, Williamsburg and Worthington in Hampshire County and Deerfield, Greenfield, Leverett, Montague and Sunderland in Franklin County.

Getting unwanted and unused drugs out of people’s homes, where they can be accessed by children and other people who shouldn’t have access to them, is part of the nationwide effort to combat the opioid crisis.  

“This is one of the most important initiatives we participate in to help combat drug addiction,” Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan said.

Most people who misuse prescription drugs get them from friends and family, sometimes without their knowledge. And, according to the latest information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse “about 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.”

Besides keeping prescription drugs out of the hands of children and teenagers,  one of the most important objectives of National Prescription Drug Day is raising awareness of this 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 Unwanted and out-of-date drugs cannot be simply thrown in the garbage or flushed down the toilet.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 waterbodies, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The long-term consequences remain to be seen.

For more information, contact the NWDA’s TRIAD Coordinator Rachel Senecal at Rachel.Senecal@state.ma.us