County drug take-back is Oct. 28
AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine — National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and all Aroostook County law enforcement agencies will participate.
Those who have any unused or unwanted prescription drugs should bring them to a local police department for proper disposal.
During the last take-back day on April 29, Maine police departments collected 27,140 pounds of medications.
According to the Maine Youth Health Integrated Survey, in 2015, 9.4 percent of high school students reported using prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription in their lifetimes, and 3.8 percent reported using within the past 30 days.
The24/7 Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, said organizers. 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. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
In addition, the 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.
In an effort to reduce access and abuse of prescription drug abuse, all 11 County police departments, the Aroostook County Shrriff’s Office and Maine State Police Troop F serve as prescription disposal sites all year long. This service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked. In most cases, consumers can take in unused, expired or unwanted medicines 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Where there are smaller departments who may not have an officer in the building at all times, residents should call ahead.