Published in the September 24, 2015 edition

NORTH READING — Chief Michael Murphy announces that the North Reading Police Department, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will participate in National Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the North Reading Police Department.

“We are proud to be hosting a National Drug Take Back Day event at the North Reading Police station this year,” Chief Murphy said. “I would strongly encourage anyone who has unused prescriptions at home to come drop them off at the station so these medications don’t end up in the wrong hands. Anything we can do as a community to help stop this substance abuse epidemic will help.”

National Drug Take Back Day is a free and anonymous event that 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 will accept pills and patches but cannot take liquids, needles or sharps.

Last September, Americans turned in 309 tons (over 617,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and municipal law enforcement partners. Since the first Take Back event, the DEA and its partners have taken in over 4.8 million pounds of drugs.

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 unused medications by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage, as these methods have potential safety and health risks.

Residents can also drop off their prescription drugs at the North Reading Police Department’s MedReturn kiosk, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the station’s lobby.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Sept. 26 Drug Take Back Day, visit the DEA Office of Diversion Control site or contact North Reading Police at 978–664–3131.