NORTHAMPTON, Mass (WWLP) – A total of 1,773 pounds of expired medications and unwanted drugs were collected across western Massachusetts on Saturday.
Saturday was National Drug Take Back Day where residents were encouraged to properly dispose of their unwanted prescriptions to confront the opioid crisis.
According to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Mary Carey, 1,773 pounds of unwanted drugs were collected at 19 locations in Hampshire and Franklin counties on Saturday and will be transported to Covanta Springfield to be incinerated and converted into energy.
More than 50,000 pounds have been collected in the Northwestern District during Take Back days and from permanent collection boxes since 2011.
Carey told 22News, “Getting unwanted and unused drugs out of people’s homes, where they can be accessed by children and other people who shouldn’t use them, is part of the nationwide effort to confront the opioid crisis.”
Rachel Senecal of the Northwestern District Attorney’s office told 22News, “We had 12 drops sites in Hampshire County, six in Franklin County and one in the town of Athol which is Worcester county but covers our jurisdiction. It was an amazing event Every department brought in a good amount of drugs.”
Since 2011, more than 50,000 pounds have been collected in the Northwestern District during drug take-back days and collection boxes.
All the drugs that were collected on Saturday were incinerated at Covanta in Agawam.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse about 80 percent of people who use heroin misused prescription opioids first.