Local agencies to take part in drug takeback

AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine — All Aroostook County law enforcement agencies will participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 27, from 10am-2pm.   

During the last takeback day on Oct. 27, Maine police departments collected 27,156.7 pounds of medications.

In an effort to reduce access to and abuse of prescription drugs, all 11 police departments in Aroostook County, along with the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office and Maine State Police Troop E, will receive unused, expired and unwanted prescription drugs. They also serve as prescription disposal sites all year long.  This service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

According to the Maine Youth Health Integrated Survey, in 2017, 5.4 percent of high school students in Aroostook County reported using prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription in the past 30 days.

The *24/7 Prescription Drug Take-Back 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.  

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, 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.

Residents with any unused or unwanted prescription drugs should bring them to a local police department for proper disposal. For smaller departments, where there may not be an officer in the building at all times, call head.

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