The Coalition hosts semi-annual drug take back events that encourage the community to safely dispose of their medications. To date the take back programs in Dover have collected over 1,400 pounds of drugs.
The Dover Police Department, Dover Coalition for Youth and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) partner to give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Medications can be brought for disposal to the Dover Police Department at 46 Locust Street during the events each spring and fall. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
“Dover, like communities across the state, is seeing an increase in heroin use and heroin related overdoes. We know that the majority of heroin users start with prescription drug abuse and then turn to heroin because it is cheaper and easier to get. If we can prevent prescription drug abuse we are in turn taking steps toward preventing heroin use. We urge all members of the public to safely dispose of the medications in their homes at the Drug Take Back.” said Chief Anthony Colarusso of the Dover Police Department.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse 80% of people who use heroin abused painkillers first. 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 U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Surveys show that one in five New Hampshire high school students have used a prescription drug that was not prescribed to them.
“Over half of teens report that prescription drugs are easy or very easy to get” according to Dover Coalition for Youth coordinator, Vicki Hebert. “70% of teens who abuse prescription drugs obtained the medications from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. We are holding this event to allow community members to dispose of their medications and remove the source of temptation from their home.”
Dover has participated in the take back initative since the fall of 2010 hosting at least one event a year. During the last 5 years Dover has collected nearly 1,500 pounds prescription drugs. “The community has let us know that they are looking for safe ways to dispose of their unused medications by consistently coming out on take back days and turning in hundreds of pounds of unwanted drugs each year.” said Chief Colarusso.
Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards. The DEA states that unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. Unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply.
If you are unable to attend a collection event during the national take back day visit the Food and Drug Administration website at www.FDA.gov to learn about other recommended disposal methods.
For more information about the take back event visit the DEA website at www.DEA.gov.