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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Somerville will celebrate “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” on Saturday, April 30th from 10am-2pm.

Courtesy of www.somervillema.gov/

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, the Somerville Health Department and the Somerville Police Department announced today that, in collaboration with the efforts of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the “National Prescription Drug Take-Back” program, Somerville will celebrate “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” on Saturday, April 30th from 10am-2pm.

The drop off location in Somerville, a kiosk located in the lobby of the Public Safety Building at 220 Washington Street, was installed in the fall of 2010. It is open to all community members 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Designated parking spaces will be made available for those wishing to drop off unwanted medications on April 30th.

“This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” said Somerville’s Director of Prevention, Cory Mashburn. “More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.”

“This is another great step in ensuring that the Somerville community is safe and welcoming for all residents, both inside the home and in the community at large,” Mayor Curtatone said. “The health and safety of our families, particularly young children, is of the utmost importance and providing a safe place for disposal of unwanted and unneeded medications reaffirms our commitment to sustaining a healthy community.”

The DEA, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, conducted the first ever National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, September 25, 2010. The purpose of this National Take Back Day was to provide a venue for persons who wanted to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs. This effort was a huge success in removing potentially dangerous prescription drugs, particularly controlled substances, from our nation’s medicine cabinets. There were approximately 3,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation that participated in the event. All told, the American Public turned in more than 121 tons of pills on this first National Take Back Day.

Unwanted medications, with the exception of liquids, may be disposed of at the kiosk after all personal information and identification has been removed from bottles and containers. Residents are also asked to place all containers within a zip lock bag prior to drop off.

“The simple and single action of removing unwanted medication from homes provides multiple a ongoing benefit of preventing improper and often dangerous consequences of the misuse of medication,” said Somerville Health Department Director, Paulette Renault-Caragianes. “Giving people the option to remove unwanted medications from their home is the start of a great step for the City of Somerville in prevention,” stated Mashburn.

“The Somerville Police Department remains committed to the safety and wellness of the

entire community, and we are glad to be able to offer a proactive service on National Take Back Day and everyday of the year for residents of the City to make sure Somerville remains a safe place to live, work and play,” said Police Chief Pasquarello.

For more information on the medication drop off kiosk, please call 311.

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