Mark Murray, City Marshal
4 Green St.
Newburyport, MA 01950
For Immediate Release
Monday, Oct. 31, 2016
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Newburyport Police Announce Successful Drug Take Back Event
NEWBURYPORT – City Marshal Mark Murray is pleased to announce that the Newburyport Police Department, in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), hosted a successful National Drug Take Back Day this month.
Residents turned in their expired and unused medications to the Newburyport Police Department on Oct. 22, which were then given to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for proper disposal.
The department also has drop boxes for both needles and prescriptions in the station lobby where residents can anonymously discard unwanted or potentially harmful drugs and substances. Over the last six months, Newburyport Police have collected 364 pounds of prescription drugs through this permanent kiosk, which they dispose of in conjunction with the National Drug Take Back Days.
“We were so pleased to have a good turnout for Drug Take Back Day last weekend,” Marshal Murray said. “It’s good to see that residents are taking advantage of this resource, as well as the kiosk in our station lobby, to keep themselves and their families safe.”
National Drug Take Back Day is a free and anonymous event coordinated by the DEA and police departments. The designated day gives the public an opportunity to prevent substance abuse by disposing of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs in their possession. The DEA accepted pills and patches but does not take liquids, needles, or sharps.
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 7.1 million pounds (more than 3,500 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.
This initiative addresses a vital public health issue. Easily accessible, unused prescriptions in homes are highly susceptible to abuse and misuse. Studies have shown that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. Residents are advised to avoid disposing of unused medications by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage, as these methods have potential safety and health risks.
Residents who missed the National Drug Take Back Day can also drop off their prescription drugs at the Newburyport Police Department’s drug drop box in the station lobby, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs, visit the DEA Office of Diversion Control website or contact Newburyport Police at 978-462-4411.