After tremendous success last year in removing dangerous prescription drugs from Rhode Island homes, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is pleased to announce again support the Prescription Drug Take Back Day event on Saturday, Apr. 28.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Office of Attorney General, the US Dept. of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration, the Rhode Island State Police and more than 30 police departments statewide will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for safe and secure disposal to any of 37 collection sites across Rhode Island (for a complete list, please visit www.dea.gov or www.riag.ri.gov). The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
The Coventry Police Department will be holding the town's take-back event at the Coventry Town Hall Annex (1675 Flat River Rd.).
In 2011, Rhode Islanders turned in more than 3,100 pounds of outdated and unused prescription medications as part of the Prescription Drug Take Back Days held in April and October. Nationally, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds—188.5 tons—of prescription drugs at over 5,300 sites during the last Take Back Day, and nearly 500 tons of pill since the program began in 2010.
Prescription drug abuse is quickly becoming a major epidemic in Rhode Island and across the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more Rhode Islanders die from accidental prescription drug overdose than any other cause of death. And the number of individuals - especially teenagers - who abuse prescription medication is growing.
“This initiative addresses a vital public safety and health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse,” said Attorney General Kilmartin. “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, particularly from the home medicine cabinet. Removing dangerous medication from homes is another way to safeguard our children and aging population.”
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.
Please note: Needles are not accepted at collection sites. Liquids are okay, so long as they are sealed.