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Prescription drug takeback day scheduled

September 16, 2012

Several locations in northern Rhode Island, including the Woonsocket and Pawtucket police stations, will be among dozens of collection sites in another statewide Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Sept. 29, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced.
The event is an opportunity to safety dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, lessening the likelihood of them falling into the wrong hands.
The Office of Attorney General, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Rhode Island State Police, the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals (BHDDH), the City of Providence, and local police departments are among 36 collection sites across the state that are participating so far. More sites are being added daily.
Those in the local area include the Cumberland Police Department, 1380 Diamond Hill Road; the Glocester Police Department, 162 Chopmist Hill Road; Lincoln Town Hall, 100 Old River Road; State Police Barracks, 1575 Louisquisset Pike, Lincoln; Pawtucket Police Department, 121 Roosevelt Ave.; and the Woonsocket Police Department 242 Clinton St.
“The non-medical use of prescription drugs is a growing public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse,” Kilmartin said. “In fact, non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America. Users don’t need to buy their drugs on dark street corners. Most abused prescription drugs come from family and friends — and the home medicine cabinet.
“You could be a drug dealer and not even know it.”
Prescription drug abuse is quickly becoming a major epidemic in Rhode Island and across the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more Rhode Islanders die from accidental prescription drug overdose than any other cause of death. And the number of individuals — especially teenagers — who abuse prescription medication is growing.
“From 2007 to 2011, our department has seen the number of drug abuse admissions for opiates and benzodiazepines, other than heroin, double for individuals under 21,” added Craig Stenning, director of the state department of behavioral healthcare.
“It is critical for family, friends, teachers, students and other members of the community to be aware of the warning signs of substance abuse and the serious effects that can result without early intervention.”
Since the Prescription Drug Take Back program launched in 2010, Rhode Islanders have disposed of more than 5,300 pounds of prescription drugs.
In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards
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