The Warwick Police Department will be among more than two-dozen Rhode Island law enforcement agencies participating in the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday. This is the second statewide event this year.
Residents are encouraged to bring expired and/or unwanted prescription drugs to Police headquarters at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive in Apponaug between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Officers will ensure that the medications are disposed of properly.
With a reported spike in deaths from prescription and other drugs in the Warwick area earlier this year, this take-back is particularly timely; national studies show that more than half of individuals age 12 and older who abuse prescription drugs got them for free from a family member or friend.
Improper disposal of prescription drugs can also impact the environment. These compounds have been found in waterways across the country, raising concerns about potential risks and effects on water quality and organisms that live in the water. People are advised to never flush old prescriptions down the drain.
The state’s last take-back day, in April, resulted in the collection of more than 2,000 pounds of unwanted medications – the most ever collected in Rhode Island. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration division, during the nationwide April event, a record-breaking 552,161 pounds, or 276 tons, of unwanted or expired medications were collected for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. All told, more than 1.5 million pounds, or 774 tons, of unwanted medications have been collected during the four take-back days combined.
For more information about the program, call the Warwick Police Department at 468-4200 or visit the DEA website at deadiversion.usdoj.gov.