On Saturday, Oct. 27 from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m., the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office along with the police departments of Boothbay Harbor, Damariscotta, Waldoboro, and Wiscasset will host the semiannual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
This medication disposal event has been offered every spring and fall for the last 8 years with a goal to prevent prescription drug misuse and theft. Everyone is invited to bring in expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for safe disposal, no questions asked. This national event is sponsored by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, local law enforcement, and community health partners. The service is free and anonymous.
There will be five drop-off locations in Lincoln County:
· Boothbay Harbor town office
· LincolnHealth — Miles Campus in Damariscotta
· Sheepscot Valley Health Center in Coopers Mills (Whitefield)
· Waldoboro town office
· Wiscasset Police Department
The DEA can accept all unused, unwanted, or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications. This includes pills, liquids, ointments, and patches. The DEA cannot accept needles, other sharps, syringes, electronic devices, or devices with mercury.
Last April, 600 pounds of prescription drugs were returned to Lincoln County disposal sites. The state of Maine collected 28,560 pounds, more than any other state in New England. Nationally, the DEA recorded a record-setting 949,046 pounds – 474.5 tons – of potentially dangerous unwanted medications at more than 5,800 collection sites.
“This increased participation not only tells us there are many medications that linger in homes, but it also shows wide support against the opioid crisis. Unused medications in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” said Kate Marone, director of Healthy Lincoln County.
Rates of opioid-related deaths and prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings due to drugs. Studies show that 2 out of 3 teenagers who misused pain relievers say they got them from family and friends, including their home’s medicine cabinet, according to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
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 — pose potential safety and health hazards to humans and natural resources. The preferred methods for disposal are at a DEA disposal event, a local law enforcement station, or in drug-deactivating envelopes.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the take-back event, go to the DEA Diversion website or call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 882-7332.