Bring your unwanted drugs for sound disposal to 13 locations in Hampshire and Franklin counties. Since 2011, more than 21 tons have been collected in the Northwestern District during Take Back days and from permanent collection boxes.
Participating communities on April 28 include Amherst, Belchertown, Cummington, Easthampton, Goshen, Northampton, Southampton and Williamsburg in Hampshire County and Ashfield, Deerfield, Greenfield, Leverett 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 one of the fronts in the nationwide effort to combat the opioid crisis.
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.”
Keeping prescription drugs out of the hands of children and teenagers is one of the most important objectives of National Prescription Drug Day, as 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 Unwanted and out-of-date drugs cannot be simply thrown in the garbage or flushed down the toilet.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.
Since 2011, more than 21 tons of medications have been collected at Take Back Days and 17 permanent drug drop off boxes in the Northwestern District.
Nationwide, some 242,000 pounds (121 tons) were collected on the first Take Back Day in September, 2010. In New England, Massachusetts led the way, with 12,354 pounds collected.