SWAMPSCOTT — The Swampscott Police Department is taking back unwanted prescription drugs on Saturday.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the department’s headquarters, located at 531 Humphrey St., will be a disposal drop-off for potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs, as well as vaping pens and cartridges, without the batteries as they are considered a household hazardous waste, according to a press release from the department. In collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the purpose of the initiative is to prevent pill abuse and theft by allowing residents to get rid of the items.
Liquids, needles and sharp items will not be accepted, said the release. The service is free, anonymous, and no questions will be asked. Alternatively, if you can’t come in on Saturday, the police department maintains a permanent collection box at the station, year-round.
The 18th National Take Back Initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, said the release. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. 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 most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, said the release. Bringing prescription pills to the police department is preferable to other methods for disposing of unused medicines, such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash. Both pose potential safety and health hazards.