CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A nationwide effort to rid households of unwanted prescription medications, the goal to save lives, by preventing potential accidental poisoning, misuse, or even overdoses.
April 24 marks the 20th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and according to the DEA, the annual event collected more than 900,000 pounds of unwanted medications just last year. Western Massachusetts communities are also doing their part in this fight, with dozens of cities and towns holding take-back events at police departments and other designated areas.
One man said he believes active lifestyles can play a big factor in people abusing prescription medications and thinks events like this will help cut down on these numbers.
Shaun Fifield of Easthampton told 22News, “It can happen, you know we have skiing, we have basketball we have football. We have such an active lifestyle. Addiction comes it happens.”
Some residents told 22News this event is timely, due to the rise of overdose deaths reported by the CDC in the US during the pandemic, and the struggles with substance abuse seen in local counties.
Lynn Dehneh of Chicopee told 22News, “The pandemic has made it much worse.. people cant go in person to alcoholics anonymous meetings or narcotics anonymous meetings so they have to go online. It’s just not the same on the internet and some people don’t have access to the internet.”
Free Drug take-back day collections will happen from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. Medications can remain in original packaging with labels, prescriptions, and non-prescription as well as vitamins and veterinary drugs will be accepted.
But liquids syringes, IV equipment and chemotherapy drugs will not be allowed.
If you miss Saturday’s event, you can also bring your medications to permanent drop boxes at area police departments.