This weekend, get rid of those old prescription meds

Date Published: 
Oct. 27, 2017

As part of an ongoing effort locally, state-wide and nationally, people are being encouraged to visit some of their local police departments this weekend to properly dispose of their unneeded or expired prescription medications.

The semiannual Drug Take-Back day will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During that time, unused medications — both in liquid and pill form — may be dropped off at pre-approved Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) program sites.

“Opioid addiction is a big deal right now. Getting rid of these dangerous drugs from your house so they’re not sitting around, helps reduce the risk of prescription medication misuse,” said Ocean View Police Department Sgt. Rhys Bradshaw.

The OVPD has been participating in the take-back days for many years, and even has a drop-off box available to residents year-round inside the Wallace A. Melson Municipal Building.

“The only thing we don’t like to take is needles,” cautioned Bradshaw.

The OVPD had previously used a decommissioned mailbox for people to drop the medications in, before being approached by CVS Pharmacy, which provided them with a secure box in which to collect the medications.

“We always have people coming in and dropping off,” said Bradshaw, noting that, last year, there were 23 collection sites in the state of Delaware, which together collected 7,684 pounds of prescription drugs. Of those drugs, 265 pounds were collected at the Ocean View Police Department.

According to the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services, 70 percent of people who abuse prescription pain medications get them from friends and relatives, and one in five high school students have abused prescription drugs.

This program is anonymous; no questions will be asked nor requests for identification made by law-enforcement personnel present when people drop off any medications. Citizens can simply drop off their expired, unused or unwanted medication to ensure proper disposal.

“We always have multiple boxes,” said Bradshaw. “They’re from all over, too. We don’t just collect from residents of Ocean View; we have people come in from all over. Anybody can bring them here and drop them off. We seal them in a box, and they’re stored in our secured evidence room until the DEA comes to collect them.”

Participating sites for the Oct. 28 take-back in Sussex County are the Dagsboro Police Department, Delaware State Police Troop 4 in Georgetown, Milton Police Department, Delaware State Police Troop 7 in Lewes, Ocean View Police Department, City of Lewes’ Board of Public Works and the Laurel Police Department.

Permanent drop-off sites in Sussex County are at the Selbyville Police Department, Greenwood Police Department, Ocean View Police Department, Georgetown Police Department, Laurel Police Department, Delmar Police Department, Walgreens at Five Points in Lewes and Walgreens in Seaford.

“You should always try to dispose of medications in the proper way,” said Bradshaw, noting that prescription medications flushed down the toilet or sink can make their way into the water supply, so that is no longer a recommended method of disposal.

For more information about Drug Take-Back Day, visit http://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/hsp/hhdrugtakeback.html.