Law enforcement fights opioid crisis with National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Hampden County

More than 6,000,000 Americans abuse controlled prescription drugs. 

Law enforcement in Western Massachusetts and the DEA collaborated to reduce that number.

Every day, more than 115 people die from overdosing on opioids in the United States. 

According to the DEA, its an addiction that usually starts from using unwanted prescription drugs in homes. 

“I just don’t want somebody breaking into house and finding all these and selling them out on the street,” said Indian Orchard resident, Martha Lessard. “Pain killers from past surgeries, that I don’t want sitting around the house.”

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, is one way law enforcement is fighting the opioid crisis. 

The DEA’s bi-annual event was held in the Central High School parking lot in Springfield, it was of many sites throughout western Massachusetts collecting unwanted drugs. 

“They’re not being used, they might have a great chance to fall into the wrong hands or be misused,” said Springfield Community Policing Liaison, Magda Colon. “And today we collect them, there’s no questions asked. You just drop them off and we put them into boxes and send them away.”

The whole process took minutes, but some left with a lasting effect.

“Because I hate to see them in the wrong hands. I’ve known too many who’ve had issues with drugs, so, I want to get rid of them appropriately,” said Lessard.

The DEA in conjunction with the Springfield Police Department expects to collect more than 500 pounds of unwanted and unused prescription drugs. That’s thousands of prescriptions. 

Saturday was the 15th Drug Take Back event. 

DEA has safely collected 456 tons of prescription drugs.

To find out where you can safely dispose your unwanted prescriptions year-round click here.

22News abided by the agents’ request to conceal their identities

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