Frederick Ryan, Chief of Police
112 Mystic St.
Arlington, MA 02474Town of Arlington
James Feeney, Acting Director,
Department of Health and Human Services
27 Maple St.
Arlington, MA 02476
For Immediate Release
Monday, Aug. 31, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Arlington Officials to Participate in National Drug Take-Back Day, Increase Sharps Collection Offerings
Sharps Collection Sept. 19, 9 a.m. to Noon at DPW Recycling Center
Drug Take-Back Day Sept. 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Arlington Police Department
ARLINGTON — The Arlington Police Department, in partnership with the Arlington Youth Health and Safety Coalition (AYHSC), will collect expired, unused, and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs on Saturday, September 26, at the Arlington Police Department. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., police officials and coalition members will be available to collect unwanted prescription medications.
Arlington is one of hundreds of communities that will participate in the National Drug Take-Back initiative, which was organized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to help prevent increased pill abuse and theft.
“The proper disposal of leftover prescription drugs and sharps is a vital public health and safety issue,” said James Feenay, Acting Director of Health and Human Services. “Please join us as we support this national effort to rid our medicine cabinets of drugs that could end up in the wrong hands or make seniors a target for thieves.”
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, 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, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential health and safety hazards.
“Every pill that is not properly disposed of is another chance for the wrong person to get their hands on dangerous drugs and narcotics,” said Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan. “I urge all residents to take part in National Drug Take-Back Day, and help us remove unwanted and unneeded drugs from circulation.”
The Arlington Police Department and the Arlington Youth Health and Safety Coalition are committed to reducing the supply of unwanted medications in the community, especially those medications with a strong potential for misuse or abuse. To encourage residents to dispose of medications in a safe and environmentally sound manner, the APD and AYHSC will offer this program free of cost. A permanent drug disposal kiosk is located in the lobby of the police department and is available for use 24/7.
Residents are reminded used sharps and needles will not be collected during National Drug Take Back Day and they cannot be placed into the drug disposal kiosk; however, Acting Director of Health & Human Services Jim Feeney is pleased to announce health officials will be present at the new Recycling Center hosted at the Department of Public Works (DPW) located at 51 Grove St. on Saturday September 19 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to collect used sharps from Arlington residents. This drop-off opportunity will be in addition to the twice-annual Community Collection Days, the next event of which is to be held at DPW on November 14 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Sharps disposal requests are among the most frequent calls and electronic inquiries we receive in the office, Feeney said, so we wanted to act on this community demand and resident feedback to increase the number of opportunities for residents to dispose of sharps. Though we cannot collect sharps monthly, by teaming up with DPW, we hope to be able to at least double, if not triple, the number of needle collection offerings for Arlington residents in the coming year. It is expected that participation in the Recycling Center will likely present a more pleasant and efficient drop-off experience for residents as well- they will have the opportunity to avoid long Community Collection Day lines if they wish to dispose only of used sharps, needles and lancets. The Department of Health & Human Services asks that used sharps should be brought to collection events in red biohazard containers for disposal.