Published in the September 25, 2015 editionMelrose-police-badge-925

MELROSE — Chief Michael L. Lyle announces that the Melrose Police Department, in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will participate in National Drug Take Back Day tomorrow.

Residents are encouraged to visit the police station, 56 West Foster St., on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to dispose of their unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs. The event is free and anonymous. The DEA will accept pills and patches but cannot take liquids, needles or sharps.

The initiative addresses the vital public health issue of removing easily accessible and unused prescriptions from people’s houses. 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.

“We have certainly seen the harmful effects prescription drug abuse can have on a person, family and community,” Lyle said. “We always encourage the public to remove their unused or unwanted drugs from their homes and we hope that through this free and anonymous event more residents will be motivated to drop by the station to dispose of their prescriptions properly.”

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 police agencies have taken in over 4.8 million pounds of drugs.

Residents can also drop off their prescription drugs at the Melrose Police Department’s collection 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 the Melrose Police Department at 781-665-1212.