KNOX COUNTY – Knox County Sheriff’s Office along the with Maine Sheriffs’ Association is taking the lead on the statewide “Drug Take-Back Program” on April 25th, 2015 at Vinalhaven Fire and EMS; Warren Fire and EMS; and Union Fire and EMS from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.
On April 25th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Maine Sheriffs’ Association (MSA) will give the public its’ 10th opportunity in four years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to Vinalhaven Fire and EMS; Warren Fire and EMS; and Union Fire and EMS. (we cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
The DEA and its partners have taken in over 3.4 million pounds—more than 1,700 tons—of pills. Due to funding issues, the DEA has opted to back out of this program, but has since been picked up by the Maine Sheriffs’ Association as it sees the great benefit of such a program. Most law enforcement agencies in the state are participating in this program now sponsored by MSA.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. 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.