CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and police departments in western Massachusetts are teaming up in a collective effort.

Several communities throughout western Massachusetts will be participating in this year’s National Prescription Drug Take Back, to provide an opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted and unneeded drugs.

People are encouraged to clean out medicine cabinets and drop off unneeded drugs for both people and pets. The FDA recommends the prompt disposal of unwanted drugs to help reduce the chance that others accidentally take or misuse the medicine, and to help reduce drugs from entering the environment.

Take-back locations will accept tablets, capsules, patches, and other prescription drugs. Some will also accept vaping devices, as long as you remove the battery. Take Back collections are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at police departments such as:

  • Agawam
  • Deerfield
  • East Longmeadow
  • Easthampton
  • Enfield, Connecticut
  • Erving
  • Greenfield
  • Hadley
  • Leverett
  • Ludlow
  • Montague
  • Pelham
  • Pittsfield (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
  • Southampton
  • South Hadley
  • Springfield
  • Sunderland

You can also drop off prescription drugs at these locations:

  • Knights of Columbus parking lot in Chicopee – Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
  • Wildwood Elementary School
  • The Town Common in Belchertown
  • Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School
  • Williamsburg Hardware

22News spoke with Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan about the harm that these drugs can cause if they are not disposed of properly.

“So it doesn’t go into our water supply and that’s a big issue in many communities because those medications don’t leave the water once it’s there they dissolve and they stay in that system. So both environmentally and also most important that we’re getting those medications out of the hands of potential abusers,” said Sullivan.

More than 65,000 pounds of drugs have been safely disposed of since the start of these Take Back Days. These take-back days are meant to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal as well as a space to educate the public about the potential for abuse of these medications.

Take Back Days are offered twice annually in both April and October, but you don’t have to wait for these events to drop off unused or unwanted medication.