Gloucester /Boston, MA. Steve W. Derr Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, community, public health and law enforcement partners recently announced a nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative that seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft. DEA will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at sites nationwide on Saturday, September 25th, from 8AM to 12PM. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

“As we know all too well in New England, prescription drug abuse destroys people’s lives. Medication in out homes that is no longer needed becomes an unnecessary hazard to the ones we love,” said Special Agent Derr.

This initiative addresses a vital public health and safety issue. Rates of prescription drug in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away- both potential safety and health hazards.

Essex County’s “Operation Med Sweep”, led by the DEA, Essex County District Attorney’s Office and in partnership with Gloucester’s Healthy Gloucester Collaborative, takes place with the nationwide program September 25th.

Cape Ann medication collection sites:

Saturday, September 25, 8AM -12PM

Gloucester: Rose Baker Senior Center
Essex: Essex Police Station
Rockport: Rockport Police Station

The Healthy Gloucester Collaborative, a group dedicated to reducing substance abuse in teens and promoting healthy communities, has been working on this issue on the North Shore for some time already. The Collaborative introduced a model drug disposal program including a 24/7 drug drop-off site at the Police Department over a year ago and has successfully collected many unwanted or expired medications from community members.

For more information on “Operation Med Sweep” or other Healthy Gloucester Collaborative initiatives, please contact: Joan Whitney, Director, Substance Abuse Prevention Services, GHD, 866-964-4602. This event will be sponsored by the Healthy Gloucester Collaborative, a community coalition supported by Substance Abuse Prevention Services, Gloucester Health Department and partnering agencies.

Healthy Gloucester Collaborative

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