CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was a huge success over the weekend.

The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department partnered with the Hampden District Attorney Office and collected nearly 400 pounds of expired or unused prescription drugs were collected on Saturday at the Knights of Columbus in Chicopee.

“Whenever people participate in Drug Take Back Days, they are protecting the people in their households and others within the community. It’s important that we don’t flush them or throw them in the trash,” Sheriff Nick Cocchi said. “Taking the time to bring them to a place where we can properly dispose of it can save lives.”

According to the DEA, collection totals in western Massachusetts:

  • Berkshire County: 457 Pounds
  • Franklin County: 216 Pounds
  • Hampden County: 1,754 Pounds
  • Hampshire County: 1,465 Pounds

National Drug Take Back Day aims to help communities dispose of prescription drugs safely. Opioid misuse remains at epidemic levels in the United States, so this is seen as a collective effort to save lives.

The Take Back program began in 2010 with the intent of removing expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs from homes where they could be misused, stolen, or abused. Bringing unused or expired drugs to take-back locations helps stop pollution in the environment. As well as keeping those drugs out of the hands of vulnerable individuals.

Collection boxes are set up at police stations throughout Pioneer Valley, at the Hampden County Correctional Center in Ludlow, and the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center in Chicopee.