Frederick Ryan, Chief of Police
112 Mystic St.
Arlington, MA 02474
For Immediate Release
Friday, March 21, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Captain Richard Flynn, PIO
Office Phone: 781-316-3907
Cell Phone: 781-844-1224
Email: [email protected]
Arlington Police Collect More than 15,000 Narcotic Pills through Voluntary Drop Box Program
Federally Controlled Substances Properly Secured
Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan today announced that the department has reached a major milestone in its anonymous medication and drug disposal drop box program, in partnership with the Arlington Youth Health and Safety Coalition (AYHSC).
Since the program began on June 15, 2012, the Arlington Police Department has collected 15,397 narcotic tablets and pills and more than 1,000 lbs. of over-the-counter/non-narcotic medications.
“Misuse of prescriptions is a leading contributor to drug addiction,” Chief Ryan said. “I’m proud of the efforts of our residents, in partnership with Arlington Police, in ensuring that 15,000 doses of narcotics will never be diverted for unlawful purposes.”
The 15,397 federally controlled substances have been secured, and the 1,000 lbs. of non-narcotic drugs have been properly disposed of by Clean Harbors. Those non-narcotic, seemingly less dangerous drugs would have otherwise ended up improperly disposed of in landfills or down drains, into the water supply.
Additionally, Arlington Police recycled all plastic and cardboard containers related to the collection program.
“I am overwhelmed at the response that this program has drawn from our residents, and proud that so many have come forward to properly dispose of their unneeded medications,” said Christine Bongiorno, Director of Health and Human Services for Arlington. “Misusing prescriptions is a leading contributor to drug addiction, and this program has gone a long way toward removing the temptation from medicine cabinets.”
Arlington residents looking to rid their medicine cabinets of unused, unwanted or expired medications can freely bring them to the drop box at Arlington Police Headquarters, 112 Mystic St., 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The misuse of prescription medications is a widespread problem throughout the United States. It is also a gateway to other drug abuse, including heroin abuse.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 20 percent of people in the U.S. have misused/abused a prescription medication, and roughly 7 million people are current users of prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. Among youth, prescription drugs are the most widely abused illicit drugs, after alcohol, marijuana and tobacco. Furthermore, studies show that the majority of youth obtain prescription drugs from friends and relatives, often without their knowledge. Proper medication disposal, along with community and healthcare provider education, prescription drug monitoring systems, and enforcement of drug trafficking violations, is critical to preventing and reducing prescription drug abuse. The APD and AYHSC are confident that the new collection site will fulfill the need for an environmentally sound disposal option, while also helping to ensure that excess medications are kept out of the hands of young people and others susceptible to substance abuse.
Please note: The disposal box is for medications only. The Arlington Police Department runs a separate disposal program for needles/sharps, lancets, and EpiPens.