Rick Smith, Chief of Police
1 Union St.
Wakefield, MA 01880
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Wakefield Police Destroys 182 Pounds of Drugs after National Drug Take Back Event
WAKEFIELD – Chief Rick Smith is pleased to announce that the Wakefield Police Department, in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), collected 18 boxes containing 182 pounds of prescription medications during National Drug Take Back Day last Saturday.
Residents turned in their expired and unused medications to the Wakefield Police Department on April 30, which were then given to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for proper disposal. The department also has drop boxes for both needles and prescriptions in the station lobby where residents can anonymously discard unwanted or potentially harmful drugs and substances.
“We had a very large number of drugs and substances dropped off last weekend,” said Chief Smith. “It’s good to see the community utilizing these resources, and we’re happy to be a part of fighting this drug crisis bit by bit.”
National Drug Take Back Day is a free and anonymous event coordinated by the DEA and police departments. The designated day gives the public an opportunity to prevent substance abuse by disposing of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs in their possession. The DEA accepted pills and patches but does not take liquids, needles, or sharps.
Last September, Americans turned in 309 tons (over 617,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and municipal law enforcement partners. Since the first Take Back event, the DEA and its partners have taken in over 4.8 million pounds of drugs.
This initiative addresses a vital public health issue. Easily accessible, unused prescriptions in homes are highly susceptible to abuse and misuse. Studies have shown that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. Residents are advised to avoid disposing of unused medications by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage, as these methods have potential safety and health risks.
Residents who missed the National Drug Take Back Day can also drop off their prescription drugs at the Wakefield Police Department’s drug drop box in the station lobby, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs, visit the DEA Office of Diversion Control website or contact Wakefield Police at (781) 245-1212.